My Experience as a Regenexx Patient
Many times, we as physicians are asked if we have undergone a treatment that we are recommending. Well, I can now say that I have.
A few months ago, I received stem cell injections from my own bone marrow concentrate into my shoulder and hip joints. I swam and played water polo in high school which was so much fun but took a toll on my body. I ended up with labral tears in both areas. The labrum is a ring of connective tissue that helps stabilize a joint. Despite a lot of physical therapy, the tears caused significant instability and frequent subluxations (partial dislocations). I included a picture of what a labral tear looks like on a shoulder MRI in the image above.
Although it’s generally a good idea to avoid elective orthopedic surgeries if possible, the level of instability was impacting my quality of life. So, I chose to proceed with arthroscopic surgical repairs of both, approximately one year apart. Both surgeries went well and improved the stability of those joints. However, I did develop some aches and pains that weren’t there before. I decided to be proactive and have these areas treated with bone marrow concentrate in hopes of preserving the joints and cartilage as much as I can. Therefore, I asked a good friend and colleague of mine (Dr. Chaz Fausel) who I trust to perform a bone marrow concentrate stem cell injection using the flexible lab platform available at Regenexx.
Bone marrow was extracted from my bilateral iliac crests using ultrasound guidance. Don’t worry, I was plenty numb and it wasn’t bad at all.
Our lab then processed this bone marrow aspirate to isolate the stem cell rich portion. Fortunately, I had over 1 billion total nucleated cells which is more than enough to treat two joints.
Re-injection: Using a combination of ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance, the bone marrow concentrate was then precisely re-injected into not only joint spaces but also into surrounding ligaments and tendons that play a large role in stability.