In spite of what you may read and hear about repeated injections of 12 ½ % dextrose into your joint or in the soft tissues surrounding your joint, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims regarding a regenerative influence from Prolotherapy. That is not to say it might or could lessen pain around a joint; but the benefits, if any, are anecdotal in nature and fall under the realm of homeopathy. It belongs under the same classification as Acupuncture; there are followers, anecdote and practitioners but an absence of scientific proof as to how it works. Yet, even with paucity, if not absence of scientific evidence, there is no end to web sites extolling the regenerative nature of Prolotherapy.

From science to tabloid

This week, my office and email were inundated following the headline in the Monday Wall Street Journal concerning a 3D printing of a medial meniscus lattice into which stem cells had been injected. A total of one patient was featured who had an experimental meniscus surgically introduced to replace a previously torn medial meniscus. While in years to come, this may become common place, there are limited indications and many more years of clinical trial ahead before an artificial meniscus becomes a standard of practice. After age 40 or so, meniscal injury as documented on an MRI is more often than not accompanied by arthritis. Post traumatic arthritis and degenerative arthritis are contraindications to meniscal replacement and even are associated with a less than satisfactory outcome to existing arthroscopic interventions. I must remind the reader that degenerative and post traumatic knee arthritis may be reflected on the MRI as an abnormal meniscus but in addition, physical examination is compatible with an altered range of joint motion and mechanical axis deformities.

A Regenerative Medicine Offering with emerging Scientific Evidence

I am finishing up my statistical analysis concerning 170 patients with degenerative and post traumatic knee arthritis who have undergone Bone marrow Aspirate Concentrate/Stem Cell knee care  in preparation for my presentation at the June meeting of The Orthopedic and Biologic  Institute.  After two years of follow-up, there is a statistically significant improvement in diminishing pain, increasing range of motion, enhancing well-being, and facilitating return to or maintenance of a highly active recreational profile. This is scientific evidence and the basis for my Regenerative Medicine approach to helping a patient manage arthritis.

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