Much of what I write in this Blog is about the musculoskeletal care of the aging athlete. From time to time, I am reminded though that the arthritic changes in a joint may start before the usual aging process ensues. This week, I received an inquiry from a 23-year-old man as to whether he might be a candidate for stem cells based on advanced arthritic changes in his knee. An orthopedic surgeon had just told him that there was little alternative than a joint replacement in the foreseeable future.

Then came the following e-mail greeting from a patient in whom I had performed a stem cell right and left knee intervention about 18 months ago.

Hello Dr. Sheinkop,

While on my way to the health club today walking through the parking lot I marveled how wonderful my knees felt carrying me and my 20 lb. bag of equipment strapped on my shoulder. I felt I was walking a very natural gate with no sign of limp. Was it all in my head ? No way… I was with ” happy knees ” and I feel good.

Inside the health club I met an old friend that I have not seen since the first of the year he was still on crutches since last fall caused by an infection somewhere in his body that wound up on his needing a second knee replacement , the original he has had over ten years. In March he had his replacement. He told me about the surgery ordeal that he had undergone which resulted with a two hour knee replacement, and then an eight hour procedure with another surgeon to do tendon ” whatever”. He is still on crutches  and a leg length brace…looking forward to June when he feels things will be better.

I remember him as a tall, massive muscular strong handsome man who was quite an athlete.  His physical appearance today seems to be a shell of his former self…his whole body seems to atrophied….. I wish him the best.

We had met  18 months ago, and I discussed the Regennex procedure and my decision to go ahead with this…. I got the impression from him it was “hocus pocus” as he pounded his fist into his artificial knee and proclaimed  “these are the best , they can last forever” !

R.R.

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