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An American Warrior ~ Quarterbacking New Hope for treating Football Injuries in Seasoned Patients

May 3, 2018 by medicalmasters

Case Study

Dr. Stan Headley,  Patient Overview

When a former college football quarterback, with letters in 3 sports, throughout high school,  walked through our doors complaining of chronic pain in both knees due to previous sports injuries,  and the residual effects of previous orthopedic surgery (for partial ACL and Meniscus Tears), it confirmed the growing suspicion that aging athletes are fighting an uphill battle.

What you will learn:

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    How historical injuries influence osteoarthritis
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    How past surgeries and the aging process influences pain timeline
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    How mobility & range decrease with age-related injuries
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    The threat (and treatment) of knee synovitis
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    Hope through stem cell therapy & regenerative medicine
Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis for College Football Athlete

Sports related joint injuries and the resulting osteoarthritis are knocking the wind out of American athletes.

Dr Stan Headley, 63, is no ordinary patient. He holds a doctorate in medicine and has spent the last two decades specializing in naturopathic medical treatments for his patients. His reputation among patients and physicians is sterling.

With this impeccable background he was uniquely positioned to question his own joint pain and medical conditions.  The sum of which, were definitely affecting his quality of life.

It was time for him to take decisive action by visiting Dr. Steven Coleman,  for a Comprehensive Medical Assessment (CMA). 

“Over the last year… Pain, ….especially in my left knee, wakes me up at night, and I feel stiffness and loss of my range of motion.

I have little flexibility,  and can no longer go hiking,  or take long walks with my wife,  which severely limits how much enjoyment I can get from life,” said Dr. Headley.

The initial medical assessment performed by Dr. Coleman,  confirmed two major problems. One was massive fluid in the left knee due to prior injury and arthritis, and two, the damage to the right knee, which both had required open surgery. The left knee cap was literally floating in a sea of inflammatory fluid (ballottement).

The Right knee had a positive drawer test suggesting at least a partial tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. At the end of the game, his knees were left with little to no reserve for healing.

The First Strike against the future doctor,  was for a medial meniscus tear in the left knee. The Second and more devastating strike, was for an ACL tear in the right knee.

Dr. Stan Headley

Former College Quarterback & Athlete

“Being a nine sport “Letterman” in college meant I played a lot of football as the quarterback. When you got sacked back then, it was full force, not like todays football rules. In one particular game I got blindsided,  and my meniscus was badly torn. This lead to the first surgery, followed shortly by another for the completely torn A.C.L. on the right."

An estimated 750,000 Meniscal tear procedures,   are performed annually, making it the most prevalent knee surgery in the United States today.  This accounts for nearly two-thirds of the orthopedic procedures for patients over 65.

However, research indicates that surgery for a torn meniscus cartilage is often ineffective for this patient population, especially when advanced osteoarthritis is also present. “Unless we attempt to address the underlying cause of knee degeneration by attacking abnormal inflammation, I dont see how the need for surgery will ever be reduced,” Said Dr. Coleman

“His left knee in particular, showed prominent synovitis,  with excessive buildup of joint lining, resulting in inflammation and large amounts of fluid swelling.   The onset of Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis, was aggravating pain in the knee joint. Clearly,  surgery had not decisively cured this badly damaged knee joint” said Dr. Coleman.

The assessment suggested that a regenerative approach may offer long-term benefits for the patient.

Dr. Coleman huddled a three-part treatment plan to tackle the joint disease and inflammation in both knees, with considerable attention being paid to the left knee which was particularly aggravating and troublesome for the patient.


Hope & Act

1. Remove the excess synovial fluid (Joint Aspiration)

2. Clean out the joint and Instill Sterile Fluid (Joint Lavage)

3. Inject Umbilical Cord Stem Cell promoting factors to maximize healing (Growth Factors and more)

 4. Address Cytokine environment to reduce Chronic Inflammation

*Note: The cellular injection  of Umbilical Cord Product into the knee joint is an alternative to using the patient’s own bone marrow,  fat cells and platelets (PRP) in what is defined as a Full Stem Cell Procedure

Dr Stan Headley - STem Cell Therapy
Knee Effusion in Stem Cell Therapy Patient

The first stages of the procedure, highlighted above, resulted in 130 cc’s of synovial fluid being extracted from the patient by Dr. Coleman, which can be seen in the accompanying video.   This brought significant relief to the patient who immediately reported feeling “less pressure and pain in the knee joint.”

The final application of the umbilical cord stem cells into both knee joints went smoothly.    In theory, the cells release very special proteins called growth factors or cytokines which we referenced in a previous article and press release.   They are responsible for several roles including controlling the immune system and regulating inflammation (or “synovitis”), that was so visibly evident in the patient’s left knee.  

“Isolating growth factors and stem cells contained within the umbilical product,  offers additional regenerative benefits which should help promote cartilage and tissue repair, over time,” said Dr. Coleman.

Stem Cell Therapy For Medial Meniscus Tear

Within 60 minutes of the three-part procedure Dr. Headley was pleased with the results.

“It’s quite amazing: My range of motion has increased and the joint generally feels very flexible,” he said.  

While such short-term improvements are rare (with an hour of two of the procedure), they highlight the growing list of patients who experience significant pain relief within the first few hours to days after undergoing regenerative medicine procedures.

It normally takes one to three months for the full benefits of cellular therapy to maximize its healing in the human body.

Dr. Headley was already experiencing some relief due to the removal of noxious fluid in his knee joint within just one hour.

Dr. Coleman will be monitoring Dr. Headley’s progress closely over the next six months with regards to overall pain levels and joint mobility. “We are extremely pleased with the short term improvements seen in Dr. Headley’s case. We will monitor this patients continued progress very closely,” Said Dr. Coleman.  

As necessary, adjustments will be made to the regenerative treatment plan to ensure his continued improvements.

“We will strive to maximize his everyday activities including walking, climbing stairs,  and sports performance including running and tennis. When he walks without pain with his wife on the beach, we will have succeeded”


Dr. Steve Coleman
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine