The Nation’s Most Advanced Stem Cell and Platelet Procedures for Meniscus Tears
The last option anyone should consider for treating a meniscus injury is the surgical removal of all or some of this important structure. In most cases, regenerative stem cell therapy or blood platelet procedures (along with physical therapy) are likely better choices. Most patients envision meniscus surgeries as a repair of the meniscus, but about 95% of surgeries involve removing some or all of the meniscus.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The mensicus is a very important spacer, which limits the forces placed on within the knee joint. Research studies have shown that there is an exponential increase in forces on the knee cartilage as larger percentages of the meniscus are removed, and numerous studies have shown that meniscus surgery is largely ineffective in most clinical circumstances. A new retrospective study followed patients with and without meniscus tears and who did and didn’t have surgery with imaging of the knee as part of a larger group of patients who were being tracked for arthritis. A startling 81% of the patients who had meniscus surgery developed some degree of arthritis within 1 year after the their surgical procedure.
It is very common for meniscus tears to appear on MRI, especially as we age, but oftentimes these tears are not actually the source of the patient’s knee pain. Far too many meniscus surgeries are performed every year, with many published studies concluding that meniscus surgeries may be no more effective than physical therapy or no surgery at all.
Good results have been reported for meniscus tears treated with both Regenexx-SD (same-day stem cell procedure) and Regenexx-SCP (super concentrated platelet / PRP procedure) to help heal these injuries, rather than removing sections of this important structure through a surgical procedure. Patients can return to their daily activities almost immediately and they avoid the lengthy and painful rehabilitation that typically follows surgery. They also avoid the acceleration of knee degeneration that results from removing this important knee structure.
Regenexx Stem Cell Procedures in the News
Regenexx Procedures were recently featured on “The Doctors” TV show. The episode featured Dr. Christopher J. Centeno and Dr. Ron Hanson from the Centeno-Schultz Clinic in Colorado, along with patient Barbee James, who sought stem cell treatment following traditional knee surgery. The 6 minute video provides a nice overview of the Regenexx-SD (Same Day) Knee Stem Cell procedure
Seattle King TV recently featured Regenexx patient Paul Lyon in this news segment. Lyon chose to undergo a Regenexx-SD knee procedure, rather than an invasive and traumatic knee joint replacement surgery. The story looks at his results and includes an interview with Dr. Christopher Centeno, founder of the Regenexx Procedures.
Regenexx-SD Procedure Overview
The Regenexx-SD procedure begins when the doctor thoroughly numbs the back of the hip (PSIS) and takes a small bone marrow sample through a needle, as well as a blood draw from a vein in the arm. The marrow is rich in Mesenchymal Stem Cells, which are responsible for healing damaged tissues. The stems cells are isolated from the marrow sample and platelets are isolated from the blood sample. After preparation, these two components will be reinjected directly into the damaged area of the joint using advanced imaging guidance. This ensures the cells are delivered to the exact location of need.
Your Meniscus Tear and Why Regenexx Procedures May Be Your Best Option
The Meniscus is both the shock absorber of the knee joint and the spacer that protects the cartilage which covers the top of the femur and the tibia bone. It does this by distributing the force equally across the joint. The meniscus is made of living fibro-cartilage tissue. Each knee has two menisci, a medial meniscus which is closer to the inside of the body, and a lateral meniscus which is closer to the outside of the body. The medial meniscus is more easily injured than the lateral one for biomechanical reasons.
Knee meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries we treat. Stem Cell treatment of meniscus tears offers patients a minimally invasive same-day injection procedure that may help heal the injured tissue and allow the individual to avoid the painful and lengthy recovery that typically follows surgery, as well as the long term impact to the knee as a result of removing sections of meniscus. Regenexx uses the healing power of your own stem cells and platelets to help heal this tissue, rather than remove it.
Regenexx Procedures are backed by years of research and an entire team dedicated to developing the most advanced procedures and producing the best possible patient outcomes. All of our patient’s outcomes are tracked through an international registry and this combined with our university level cell biology research lab allow us to continue to pioneer and advance the field of Interventional Orthopedics.
At Regenexx your first contact with one of our highly trained physicians will be a phone review of your latest MRI. Once it has been established that you are a candidate, you will have a very extensive physical exam to determine what type of meniscus tear you have, what is being affected, and what if anything contributed to that condition, which will include an ultrasound exam of the injury so that the doctor can see the injury in motion. A treatment plan for your unique situation will be determined.
On your treatment day, you will have an early morning appointment for a blood draw, an appointment for stem cell collection, and an appointment for the Procedure itself. Generally, only a bone marrow aspiration is needed, though there are a small number of cases for which we collect adipose stem cells as well. The bone marrow aspiration is done on the Iliac Crest at the back of the pelvis, and is surprisingly benign. We use a patented proprietary piece of equipment for the draw, which makes it much more comfortable for the patient. Feedback from our patients is that they were surprised and delighted with how well tolerated this is.
The procedure itself is done under C-Arm Flouroscopy or high level Ultrasound imaging guidance so that we can be sure we are getting the stem cells exactly where they are needed. Surgical drape conditions insure a safe environment. You will walk out of the procedure room.
More than 90% of the time meniscus surgery does not “repair” the meniscus, but rather removes the torn piece. Given its shock absorbing function, less shock absorber means more shock gets delivered to the cartilage and bone. After a while, this living tissue reacts and cartilage is lost and the knee begins to form new bone spurs. Studies have calculated increased force versus the amount of meniscus removed and its profound negative consequences to the long term function and stability of the knee. In addition, papers have confirmed that removing parts of the meniscus results in knee arthritis. Most remarkably, recent research has shown that meniscus surgery, on average, is no more effective than physical therapy in its positive effects, however physical therapy has no negative impact. Despite this, millions of meniscectomies are still performed every year.
Types of Meniscus Tears
The Meniscus is the most commonly injured part of the knee. In young people a meniscus tear is usually caused by a traumatic twisting injury. In older people, in addition to traumatic injury, tears are often caused by weakness of the meniscus caused by degenerative changes in the knee joint. Meniscus tears are often described by their position: anterior or posterior, which meniscus: medial or lateral and the type of tear. Here are some examples…
A Medial Meniscus Tear describes a tear on medial meniscus often caused traumatically by sudden changes of direction and force in sports like football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and skiing. They can also be caused by repetitive use injuries like distance running and cycling and degenerative changes to the knee in older patients. Medial Meniscus Tears respond very well to Stem Cell Therapy.
Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear: The entire inner rim of the medial meniscus can be torn in what is called a bucket handle tear. These tears usually occur in an area of good blood supply in the meniscus. While these tears when caught very early are the one case that can be sutured, an injection of your own stem cells can accomplish the same thing without the risks and recovery time of surgery.
Meniscus Flap Tear: The meniscus can also have a flap tear from the inner rim. These tears usually involve a small percentage of the meniscus and do not have the ability to heal on their own because they occur in an area that does not have good blood supply. Flap tears are the type most commonly “trimmed” or “shaved”, (removed) leading to long term issues. BEWARE of any removal of meniscus tissue. Instead use your own stem cells to heal the tear.
Complex Degenerative Meniscus Tears: Just like other tissues of the body, the tissue that forms the menisci weakens with age, making the menisci prone to degeneration and tearing with just minor injury or no particular injury at all. These tears of the meniscus are usually seen as a part of the overall condition of osteoarthritis of the knees in older adults and cause the menisci to fray and tear in multiple directions. Thankfully, in these cases, there are so many tears, most surgeons won’t even try to repair them surgically. While surgery won’t help, Regenexx can place your own stem cells and growth factors into the areas that need help with just injections.
Are You a Regenexx Procedure Candidate?
If you are suffering from a joint injury, joint pain, a non-healing fracture or a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis, you may be a good candidate for these ground-breaking stem cell and blood platelet treatments. Please complete the Procedure Candidate Form below and we will immediately email you more information.