I make this orthopedic recommendation as emeritus professor of orthopedic surgery at a major medical center where I was director of the joint replacement program and where I performed close to 20,000 knee and hip replacements. First and foremost, try to postpone a joint replacement for as long as possible. A failed joint replacement will reassign you to a couch potato category.
The two patients seeking consultation last week are both in their early 50s and like to ski; while one still enjoys soccer and tennis on weekends, the other plays weekend basketball and goes to a fitness facility during the week. In both cases, at the beginning of the week, they limp with painful and stiff joints. In the latter of these patients, I had previously completed a concentrated bone marrow/stem cell intervention into the left hip and left knee. In the other, the patient has had the joint fluid drained from his knee on several occasions in conjunction with a cortisone injection and a cartilage defect in his recent MRI.
While we all know of joint replacement success stories, there is a 70% chance of the need for a second operation to repair that failed joint in a lifetime when that replacement was introduced in a middle-aged recreational athlete. In fact, there may be a need for still a third revision in a life time; and the outcome of revision surgery does not approach that of a first-time success. For the 30% who do not enjoy a successful outcome with continued pain and loss of motion, your athletic days are over.
A reasonable question that follows is whether there are successful surgical cartilage restoration procedures that will maintain or restore function for more than two years? At this point in time, in spite of anecdotal, sensational claims, there is no outcome evidence that surgical attempts at joint restoration will stand up to use and abuse for more than 24 months.
My Orthopedic Recommendation
What is the alternative for the two middle aged athletes? In making my recommendations, I took into consideration that which is FDA approved, the biologic option for which we have four to five years of statistically significant outcomes data, and that approach for which there is finally partial or total insurance coverage. In the first scenario, I recommended a repeat Stem Cell intervention into the hip as our evidence clearly supports the greater success with lasting benefit of a second Stem Cell procedure. For the knee, I administered informed consent for the FDA approved Personalized Stem Cells clinical trial. Visit WWW.PersonalizedStemCells.com. For the second patient, I suggested a concentrated, customized, Platelet and Growth Factor intervention to reverse the inflammation and thereby eliminate his pain and swelling. In the long term, the FDA PSC Trial would be the probable solution as well.
To learn more or schedule a consultation, call (312) 475-1893. You may visit my web site at www.sheinkopmd.com.