Here is a typical case:
Gerald is 63 years old and has been having knee pain for several years. He was a football player in college and had multiple knee injuries throughout his life. 8 years ago he started having pain so he went to his primary care physician. His doctor ordered xrays and he was diagnosed with arthritis. He prescribed motrin 3 times a day for his pain. The motrin did help with the pain.
A year went by and Gerald went to his doctor for a physical exam. Lab work showed that his kidneys were working as well as they had been in the past which was attributed to the motrin he had been taking. He stopped the motrin. Another xray revealed “bone on bone.”
At that point Gerald’s doctor referred him to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedist ordered an MRI which showed arthritic changes, osteophytes and loss of cartilage. Surgery was recommended but Gerald didn’t want surgery. The surgeon offered a steroid injection which Gerald accepted not knowing how damaging they can be. The shot helped for a while but the pain returned. At that point Gerald was again offered knee replacement surgery.
Many times that’s the end of the story and no other options are offered. That is a true shame!
The problem is, at least in part, inherent in the system. Primary care physicians are often inadequately trained in comprehensive therapy for osteoarthritis and there is often a very low threshold for orthopedic surgery referral. The medical community as well as many patients often assume that orthopedic surgeons offer the most comprehensive approach to musculoskeletal problems. Our experience is that this is direct path to surgery!
If you don’t want surgery then you shouldn’t see a surgeon!
Surgery doesn’t work for numerous patients.
Surgery risks: Every surgery has risks. Sure, surgeries are performed every day and most people do well but there are some significant risks. I recently saw a patient (for an unrelated issue) that had a left leg above-the-knee amputation. I asked her what happened and she told me that her knee replacement got infected and they had to amputate.
The problem is that you have pain and your primary care physician only has a couple of options for you.
So what are you supposed to do?
Don’t get surgery except as a last-resort!
The reality is that there are very effective, low-risk, non-surgical options. We offer these options in our Tulsa stem cell clinic. We perform standard dextrose prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and Tulsa Stem Cell therapy.
Patients with knee pain and will often get an MRI. Many of these MRIs will be abnormal. MRIs are a “roadmap for surgery” and are looking for something that can be addressed with surgery.
Our approach to knee pain is extremely comprehensive. Prolotherapy works very well for many patients and focuses on damaged ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint.
PRP may be added to increase success. PRP contains growth factors which stimulate the healing process.
But what about damage to the meniscus, bones, and cartilage?
Tulsa Stem Cell
Tulsa stem cell is an excellent addition for damage to ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. There is observational data verifying the growth of new cartilage following Tulsa stem cell therapy.
For patients with significant damage to their knees we will use a comprehensive approach of Tulsa stem cell therapy, PRP, and prolotherapy in order to achieve the absolute best results.
Call us today to schedule your appointment. Don’t live with your pain for one more day!
- Guermazi A., et al. Prevalence of abnormalities in knees detected by MRI in adults without knee osteoarthritis: population based observational study (Framingham Osteoarthritis Study). BMJ. 2012; 345: e5339.
- Moseley J., et al. A Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. N Engl J Med 2002; 347:81-88
- Moseley JB, O’Malley K, Petersen NJ, Menke TJ, Brody BA, Kuykendall DH, Hollingsworth JC, Ashton CM, Wray NP. A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 11; 347(2):81-8.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee (non-arthroplasty): full guideline. December 6, 2008.
- Kirkley A, Birmingham TB, Litchfield RB, et al. A randomized trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee. N Engl J Med. 2008;359:1097–1107.
- Arroll B, Goodyear-Smith F. Corticosteroid injections for osteoarthritis of the knee: meta-analysis. BMJ.2004;328:869–870.
- Uth K, Trifonov D. Stem cell application for osteoarthritis in the knee joint: A minireview. World J Stem Cells. 2014 Nov 26; 6(5): 629–636.