One of the biggest challenges we see as regenerative medicine doctors, is the patient who has been suffering from joint paint for quite some time. Often these patients have had other more conservative therapy such as cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory medications, braces, therapy, and cortisone shots.
All, with no long term relief. I have heard many, many, patients say something very similar to the following:
“I got a cortisone shot and it was great for 3 days”
“The next time, It lasted for a couple of days”
The time after that , It did nothing”
If the patient waits even longer, and then sees a surgeon, they are frequently told “your only option is a total joint replacement”
Don’t wait until it’s too late
This is unfortunate for the patient on many levels.
- Total joint replacement is often curative for the Pain part of a serious joint degeneration. However, it carries other quite significant risks such as failed surgery, peri-operative infection, or blood clot risk. Not to mention cost to the patient and society.
- The most serious risk to this surgery is of course :General anesthesia. Sometimes patients just don’t wake up from the procedure. A total disaster and a total loss.
- The total dollars consumed is much, much higher for total joint replacement versus stem cell injection therapy ( total joints cost on average, 10 to 20 x as much as stem cell therapy)
- A total joint replacement cannot by its nature, be a staged or stepped procedure. You either go all the way with a total joint replacement or you suffer on in silence.
- With staged regenerative medicine procedures you can choose to treat more aggressively or less so, based on the patients needs and budget.
- Pain medication therapy does nothing to change the course of the medical problem. It only treats the symptoms.
This approach is fine in a morbid condition such as cancer or other fatal conditions. Is it appropriate for people who want or need to continue living? Only you and your family can answer that question.
- Narcotics as an alternative to active treatment is quite a poor choice over time. You can only take narcotics for so long, before they stop working (Tachy-Phylaxis) or serious side effects rear their ugly head (overdose, loss of vitality and addiction)
- Remember, there is virtually no risk to the surgeon who performs unnecessary surgery: the same cannot be said for the patient.
- As an “Old School” Osteopathic Physician, I take my oath of Hippocrates, very seriously. See Plaque as given to me by Dr. James Clary, D.O. (circa 1960’s) upon his retirement.
- It is much more logical to stop a damn when it begins to leak, than it is to wait until it completely washes out, and there is little foundation to build on.
- I am not anti-surgery on any level. But I am totally for complete and informed choice for the patient. Who waits till the fire is through the roof before calling the fire department? Not I.
- You as the patient, have the absolute right to demand what is best for your specific condition. One size does not fit all.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
- Before you get to Bone on Bone, see a Regenerative Medicine Doctor.
- Treat all medical problems before they become critical. It will save you time, money, grief and pain if you do.
- I always put myself in the imagined position of the patient and ask, What is the best thing to do? Expect your doctor to do the same. Would she or he, just let things go until a major surgery is the only option?
Always give your doctor the Mother Test:
Doctor, What would you do if I were your own mother?
That will give you the real answer to a true dilemma.