What’s new for the musculoskeletal care of the aging athlete?  First, let me define an athlete; or better put, the recreational interests of aging boomers, masters and seniors. This week, I undertook the knee care of a 67 year old woman from North Dakota whose major interest was a return to her twice a week bowling league. Then there is the 40 year old one time marathon runner from Madison whose knees are preventing him from continuing his athletic pursuit. When I left my house this morning, I had to brush some snow from my back window and I could have predicted the first phone call. “Dr. Sheinkop, I am afraid my arthritic hip will keep me from skiing this year, can you help me?”

The outcomes data that Regenexx posted on its web site these last several weeks as well as my own data base allow me to say “yes” to all of these aspiring athletes no matter the age or the sport/hobby/interest/fitness demand. Arthritis need not be followed by a joint replacement. Until the advent of Cellular Orthopedics, all treatment of the arthritic joint has been directed to relieving symptoms. The only means of actually intervening in the arthritic process was a joint replacement. While they work most of the time, there are risks involved in surgery, time off from work, facing the future of a revision, and little chance of genu flexing enough to bowl or ski down a black or blue run with a total hip or any run with a total knee. There is absolutely no chance of ever running again with a prosthetic joint unless you want a second surgery in less than five years. The orthopedic literature clearly documents that more than 60% of joint replacement recipients have given up all recreational and fitness pursuits within fewer than five years of undergoing said surgery.

Returning to the lead question in the first paragraph, it is Cellular Orthopedics; that is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate containing the positive growth factors, Cytokines, Mesenchymal Stem Cells; and as yet undescribed, multiple agents that alter the bio-immune environment of the arthritic joint. The potential is to not only relieve your pain from the anti-inflammatory effect, restore motion by the reversal of scarring but actually postpone or eliminate the need for a joint replacement by altering or actually reversing the arthritic process.

Now if you will excuse me, after having spent the last week out of the office, I am heading off to the fitness center and begin the preparation for the skiing season

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