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.
We look to super athletes for inspiration in how they train and win. Yet it’s the injuries that show us their true character and grit, while also revealing their technical approach to healing and fighting the aging process. Video is further below...
While delivering a thundering double-handed backhand on the tennis court several years ago, legendary tennis player Rafael Nadal placed his entire weight on his left knee, forcing his quadriceps to step in and stabilize the entire complex of joints.
In that single moment, which involved twisting, turning and extending his body to relay the shot back to his opponent, he ripped his patellar tendon forcing him out of competition for several months.
The Weight of a Champion
Around 1000 pounds of pressure was delivered to the knee joint just as the left heel struck the ground, causing an unbearable hyperextension of the knee just before bending.
Watch the Full Analysis
With the ACL and Medial Meniscus working overtime to compensate, Nadal felt a rush a of pain shoot into the fat pad around his knee. The video below shows the tibia in a fixed position, with the femur still moving; a perfect recipe for disaster as Nadal goes into his fabled body rotation.
This injury turned out to be one of many for this hard-working athlete, with the most recent one coming during the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, forcing him to question the brutal regime of the ATP tour and whether his body can truly stand up to the effects of aging.
Fear of Surgery
The biggest fear for athletes, especially once they go beyond the age of 30 is the looming spectre of surgery. The risks, long-layoffs and indeterminate outcomes make them rightly weary, leading them to seek out the latest advances in medical science for alternatives,
How Nadal Approaches Knee Rehabilitation
While they may be genetically gifted, athletes like Nadal are also cognizant of the subtle appearance of osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), giving them another area for concern. Just like us, they cannot escape the affects of aging that escalate with a chronic knee injury.
As you may expect, some of their solutions border on the space-age. For instance, Its been reported that Nadal uses an anti-gravity treadmill machine to gently keep him in shape during injury layoffs, sparing his knee undue pressure and jolting.
However, it’s in the field of Regenerative Medicine that Nadal has often cast his gaze to seek an accelerated healing flight path, without the risks of surgery.
For two consecutive years, Nadal specifically tested out PRP allowing him to recover 100% from a knee injury. He also tried out stem cell therapy for his lower back, which we described in this recent sports medicine article several months ago.
It must be noted that while not every cellular treatment protocol has been 100% completely successful, Nadal recognizes that the procedures become more advanced and powerful each year, giving him greater opportunities to accelerate the knee rehabilitation process.
Stem cells are influencing several areas of medicine, including orthopedic procedures aimed at regenerating cartilage and producing an anti-inflammatory effect.
Typically, this involves harvesting a patient's own bone marrow and fat cells to target joint damage, especially in the knees.
Since Nadal may play close to 80 matches per year, each one grueling in intensity, there is a natural advantage to seeking out alternatives to surgery when injury strikes as per the video above.
“The schedule is crazy,”said Nadal. “It’s crazy now, it was crazy before and it will still be crazy next year. You can’t make your body go to the limit for the whole year. It’s just not possible.”
To put his statement in perspective consider this statistic: In 1992, the a ground-stroke reached roughly 60 m.p.h in the men’s game. Today that speed may approach 100 m.p.h.
We are thus asking superhuman demands from our athletes. In return, they are asking for alternatives to surgery.
While the video above demonstrates a specific injury to an elite athlete, the truth is any one of us reading this article may experience the same injury while running on the beach or playing catch with our grandson. It could even happen at work while carrying a box up the stairs.
But by observing the injury patterns we see on the tennis court and how super athletes respond to new forms of knee rehabilitation we can repurpose these approaches inside minimally invasive Stem Cell Procedures for our patients in Bonita Springs.
While none of us are machines, we can turn to science and technology to explore safer alternatives to surgery and a faster approach to healing the human body.
Nobody is pursuing this approach more keenly that one of the world’s greatest tennis players, Rafael Nadal. Let's keep watching him - both on and off the court.
125 years ago the legendary Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, founded Osteopathic Medicine, a profound turning point in modern medicine that ultimately led to the genesis of MedicalMasters.org. Please join me on this journey….
dr. steve coleman's credentials
Key medical milestones in his career as a physician.
Michigan State University
Dr. Coleman received his undergraduate education at Michigan State University, laying a strong foundation in Internal Medicine.
Kirksville College of
He attended the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, which was the very first school of osteopathic medicine in the world.
American Academy and Board of Regenerative Medicine, or AABRM
With certificate number 42, he was one the first physicians to become board certified by the American Academy and Board of Regenerative Medicine, or AABRM
Dr. Steve Coleman, D.O
If you are currently experiencing knee pain from a previous injury or sports-related trauma we may be able to help. Please schedule a Comprehensive Medical Assessment (CMA) to determine if you qualify for promising new treatments in Stem Cell Therapy, Prolotherapy and PRP.
Is there a hidden agent in the healing process which could enhance our understanding and treatment of knee osteoarthritis and knee joint sports injuries? Our regenerative clinic believes this may well be the case as we absorb fascinating new research about special protein messengers in the human body we call Cytokines.
These signalling proteins are being watched closely by leading academics & practitioners exploring new frontiers in stem cell biology, including Dr. Coleman, D.O., who has recently announced the introduction of cytokines into MedicalMasters.org suite of regenerative cellular injection technologies related to healing knee joints, hip joints, shoulder joints, and lower back pain.
This family of messenger proteins affect nearly every biological process in the human body including, but not limited to: infection response, embryonic development and the potential for inflammation in the joint space area around the knee.
The more we learn about cytokines the more we believe they create favorable conditions for the knee joint to heal faster when paired with autologous stem cells extracted from your own body, including fat and bone marrow cells. While we may use technical terms to classify these micro-healers including peptides, glycoproteins, or proteins, in simple terms they have a powerful, local effect on hinge joints such as the knee and hip.
Of particular interest is the role pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators play in the onset and progression of osteoarthritis. Conversely, we also have group of anti-inflammatory cytokines which do the opposite and reduce inflammation. In other words, each time your knee painfully swells up after an injury (or gradually over time from the degenerative effects of osteoarthritis), we can partly trace the cause back to a group of “bad” cytokines, aptly labeled by my colleague Dr. Purita.
The Scene of the Crime
We are learning how to manipulate both the good and bad cytokines in different approaches, all with the end goal of reducing knee pain and accelerating joint repair. For patients with advanced osteoarthritis, we find higher levels of Interleukin 1 (IL-1) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6), two powerful cytokines in the human body that essentially “murder” good cells and produce a swelling effect in your knee or hip joint. Joining them in this crime, is Tissue Necrosis Factor (TNF).
Cumulatively, these “bad” agents group together to halt joint repair at the cellular level. These cytokines are immune to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. By careful analysis of DNA synthesis, scientists have also discovered the heroes of our story, the so-called “good” cytokines which help reduce the swelling in your knee and promote joint healing.
Here Come The Good Guys
In recent years, stem cell tissue engineering studies of cytokines show that the cellular trafficking mechanisms described above also provide agents to fight the negative effects of joint inflammation. These healing messenger proteins or “good” cytokines were first discovered in 1984 and appear to stimulate collagen growth that assist in healing knee cartilage. In fact, they are key ingredients in stem cell therapy and cellular regeneration which we offer at our clinic.
While their names are technical and arcane, they are worth knowing since they may hold the key to getting you back on the tennis court faster or simply allowing you to walk pain free.
Importantly, they have an effect similar to “icing” a painful joint and play a role in tissue repair.
These agents help block the inflammatory effects of Interleukin 1 (IL-1) mentioned earlier. They have other roles, too, but this particular healing effect is something scientists and doctors are watching closely, including MedicalMasters.org.
For some time now, medical researchers have noted the potential therapeutic for cartilage repair exhibited by the “growth” cytokine, IGF-1, when injected intra-articularly into the knee joint. While this approach is challenging, mainly due to the short half-life of this cytokine, significant progress has been made in recent years which suggest its beneficial use within stem cell therapy and other injection protocols, including PRP.
The Dawn Of Maximum Joint Healing
The human body’s blood cells producing these cytokines are thus offering regenerative physicians a “united cellular front” to to stimulate cartilage repair while reducing inflammation using the power of active growth hormones such as IGF-1. By countering the “bad” cytokines our cellular “good guys” inhibit the destructive proteins and stimulate key cell receptorswhich stimulate stem cells and PRP to build up new cartilage and tissue.
Our clinic is extremely excited by the introduction of Cytokine Medicine for knee osteoarthritis and sports injuries as it allows us to exceed the limitations of standard PRP by using a variety of messenger protein applications for the patient at more affordable prices than in the past.
This means MedicalMasters.org will be able to offer patients hybrid cytokine treatments including oral tablets, injectables and transdermal creams, which will all work together as “cellular growth mechanisms” along with stem cell therapy and Advanced PRP to promote joint and cartilage healing.
It’s also important to realize that cytokines are increasingly being used as possible candidates for biochemical markers. Both the “bad” (pro-inflammatory) and the “good” (anti-inflammatory) cytokines help determine the severity of osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease and may act as both diagnostic and prognostic tools.
As Science Magazine recently stated, we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in how we think about treating disease and the regeneration of damaged tissues, with cytokines being the spear tip in this endeavor.
Ask Us About Cytokine Medicine in Knee Joint Repair
Our same-day, minimally invasive orthopedic procedures are showing great promise for those suffering from knee pain, arthritis, and sports injuries (which include partial tears ofthe ACL, MCL tears and Meniscus). Since we harvest the stem cells (autologously) from your own body there are no major issues with immunity or rejection. This combination of hematopoietic stem cells or bone marrow with mesenchymal stem cells found in fat tissue (adipose) help promote tissue and cartilage regeneration.
Both of these sources are valuable but offer different advantages especially when paired with cytokine medicine. By implementing a functional or integrative medicinal approach to patient healing we can tackle a number of soft tissue and cartilage injuries in the various joint areas. These include shoulder bursitis, partial rotator cuff tears, tendonitis (including tennis elbow and achilles tendonitis) and aging-related knee joint issues.
Since cytokines are a key part of stem cell differentiation, we can now extend our capabilities further to minimize inflammation and stimulate tissue repair.
We expect Cytokine Medicine to become a powerful new tool in our regenerative clinic over the next few years and we look forward to sharing these results in upcoming patient success stories.
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.
In the Mid-1950s something odd happened in the United States, that may force us to re-examine the links between aging, obesity and knee osteoarthritis - a condition that influences the quality of millions of Americans.
What is this peculiar event, you may ask?
Seven medical researchers have uncovered supporting evidence to show that prior to 1955, arthritic knees were rare - very rare. Suddenly, around this point in history, the disease began to double in prevalence.
Before going further consider for a moment that osteoarthritis will probably affect half our country during our lifetime, which is why we are approaching (and will soon exceed) 1 million knee replacement surgeries in the next 12 months. The research team’s findings is thus critically important because presently the conventional wisdom suggests that living longer and higher obesity levels stimulate (and aggravate) the onset of osteoarthritis. They instead suggest there are several unconsidered variables that's leading to the growth of degenerative joint disease in the knee.
Even more fascinating is the conclusion that knee osteoarthritis may be more preventable than is commonly assumed. They surmise that prevention will require research on additional independent risk factors that either arose or have become amplified in the postindustrial era. The researchers based their findings on autopsies of cadaver-derived skeletons of people aged aged below and above 50 whose BMI at death was documented . These persons lived in the period spanning from the early industrial era (1800s to early 1900s) and the modern post industrial era (late 1900s to early 2000s).
National Academy of Sciences
Ian J. Wallace, Steven Worthington, David T. Felson, Robert D. Jurmain, Kimberly T. Wren, Heli Maijanen, Robert J. Woods and Daniel E. Lieberman
Whether increases in longevity and BMI (weight) are responsible for current knee OA levels has never been tested, but this assumption has led many to view the disease’s high prevalence as effectively unpreventable, since aging is untreatable, and the high BMI epidemic is intractable,” said the researchers in a paper delivered to the National Academy of Sciences.
They conclude that recent environmental changes have played a principal role in the deterioration of our knees, not just the extra baggage you carry around your waist.
Specifically, they point to human beings loading more external weight on their bodies during daily activities; NOT weight gain (or high BMI) over time as a main contributor to knee arthritis.
There is an important inflection point, however, in their findings above.
It’s not just that we are loading more weight (than our ancestors) on our poor bodies, but that we are also doing this while being generally more physically inactive during the course of any calendar year.
“Less physically active individuals who load their joints less develop thinner cartilage with lower proteoglycan content as well as weaker muscles responsible for protecting joints by stabilizing them and limiting joint reaction forces,” said the researchers.
This is an extremely intriguing conclusion because it again points to how vital it has become for your Doctor to examine your body and lifestyle in totality, not just symptomatically.
Dr. Steve Coleman, D.O
If you are currently experiencing knee pain from a previous injury or sports-related trauma we may be able to help. Please schedule a Comprehensive Medical Assessment (CMA) to determine if you qualify for promising new treatments in Stem Cell Therapy, Prolotherapy and PRP.
We can infer from their research that chronic low-grade inflammation, exacerbated by physical inactivity, is further stimulated by modern diets rich in highly refined carbohydrates. It does not end there: Excessive adiposity (i.e. being severely overweight) can further magnify and accelerate loading-induced damage to joint tissues and may also directly affect knee OA pathogenesis.
It’s important to emphasize that this research is ongoing but the results thus far MUST be taken into account when a patient comes in for a Comprehensive Medical Assessment or 100 Point Health Score at our Bonita Springs Regenerative clinic which offers stem cell therapy as a possible treatment modality.
Your entire personal history and lifestyle are key indicators of your present condition and what treatment options should be made available to you. An effective prevention strategy will involve adjusting your physical activity patterns and diets to approximate more closely the lifestyle conditions under which our species has evolved.
What we also take away from this study is that fairly recent increases in knee osteoarthritis during the last several decades cannot simply be considered an inevitable consequence of people living longer or having higher BMI.
“Susceptibility to knee OA and other mismatch diseases is undoubtedly influenced by intrinsic factors, including age, sex, and genes, but the historical and evolutionary perspective afforded by our data underscores that many modern cases of knee OA may be preventable,” said the researchers.
Your present job or occupation may also be playing a role in the degeneration of your knee joints. Sitting in front of computers for long periods with no intermittent physical activity seems to suggest another contributing piece to the arthritic puzzle.
Things get even stranger when one considers gender-based causes for knee joint degradation. One particular study suggests that osteoarthritis in women may be due to long (could we say, agonizing) periods wearing, walking and standing in high-heel shoes.
The study focused on 20 healthy women wearing high heel shoes and walking barefoot. The results showed a 23% increase in compressive force on the medial compartment of the knee and more pronounced pressure on the patellofemoral joint as a whole. Thus, these “altered forces” may likely be having a degenerative effect on female (or whomever enjoys wearing high-heels generally) joints over time.
This new vein of research has been shared with you to illustrate just how subtle and intricate the human body behaves in the modern world. Our present health system, and indeed our well being, can no longer be targeted with treatment plans that simply focus on limiting symptoms with the use of pharmacological agents. We also do not wish to suggest, based on the discussion above, that is now OK for you to keep or put on weight: This harmful condition will lead to a variety of other negative outcomes which may in turn influence the long-term health of the knee in unexpected ways. Not to mention the havoc it plays on hormonal levels and the possible threat of diabetes!
It’s also worth considering the role walking on hard pavements plays in affecting the knee joint. If you combine this activity with inactivity, we have further metrics to consider in the overall degeneration of the knee.
Further, simply pushing a patient to undergo knee or hip replacement surgery is also an unwise decision. Evidence is mounting that we must find alternatives, especially if you consider recent recommendations from major bodies such as the Australian Rheumatology Association which said that arthroscopic knee surgery to treat osteoarthritis is of low value and doctors are being told to consider alternatives such as exercise therapy to avoid unnecessary harm to the patient.
These recommendations were supported by the country’s Consumer Health Forum.
This is a major reason why we continue to study new trends in joint stem cell therapy research and its application for qualified patients experiencing knee pain from osteoarthritis. While stem cell therapy will not work for everyone, it shows remarkable promise for patients whose osteoarthritis is not yet bone on bone. For those interested in FTC/FDA-compliant stem cell therapy, please read this recent patient success story for Marie Claire, who experienced a positive outcome after undergoing the short, same-day procedure which utilized her body’s own cells, including fat and bone marrow, to stimulate healing in the knee joint.
Our medical clinic continues to use the best tenets of osteopathic medicine to situate the patient within his present lifestyle, medical history and physiological condition. As the earlier study pointed out, environmental factors play a key role in your present condition. It also means that doctors, surgeons and specialists - including us - need to constantly re-examine our belief systems and the incoming science with regards why a patient is experiencing osteoarthritis AND how we should treat it.
We hope found the article above informative, helping you to make more informed decisions regarding your health, especially if you are experiencing knee pain in Bonita Springs. Feel free to reach out to us and ask any health questions on your mind. We also offer treatment options for #osteoarthritis in the knee and hip joints.
Maryclaire, age 64, had been struggling for years with debilitating knee pain in both knees. The pain has been causing a limp and severely restricting her basic movements, such as walking and climbing stairs. Since the onset of pain, she has not been able to exercise, and is gaining weight as a result. As a former ballet dancer, she was previously a very active person and one who desperately wanted to enjoy some of the simple pleasures in life, pain free.
After Doctors offered No Hope, other than Permanent Surgery with a Total Knee Replacement, with all of its risks, she decided to explore alternative treatments, with MedicalMasters.org in Bonita Springs, FL.
After a Comprehensive Medical Exam, or what is called a 100-Point Health Check Up, Dr. Steve Coleman D.O., confirmed that she would be a good candidate for same-day stem cell treatment. Although she was a bit afraid of the procedure, she made the courageous decision to try something different, something more than just a traditional, invasive surgery.
The 3 hour, Level 1 procedure (No general anesthetic, done under sterile conditions), involves the pain free harvest of her very own cellular material, including PRP from Blood, Her Own Fat Cells, and Bone Marrow. Her own cells are then re-injected back into both knees, with a very advanced technique, specific to Prolotherapy Trained Physicians.
No manipulation of her Native Cells was performed. No Drugs, other than anticoagulants and anesthetics were used.
While results will differ from patient to patient, most people treated by Dr. Coleman have significantly positive results within one to three weeks. In the short term, significant worsening of pain, is quite normal but not universal.
Longer term results, over six to nine months, generally offer even greater mobility and pain reductions for patients undergoing stem cell therapy.
“I am ecstatic! I am walking perfectly and pain free just two weeks or so after the initial procedures. My left knee has virtually no symptoms at all, while my right has some slight discomfort but is dramatically improved. It’s quite incredible,” said Maryclair.
“If we are able to help patients have less pain, and perform activities of daily living with less limitations, that is a Win-Win situation, for one human being.
“If we can do all that while lessening surgical risks, and reducing massive costs to the healthcare system, it is a Triple Win for patients and society”.
“In Maryclaire’s case I am extremely grateful, that her results are ahead of schedule, and I hope to help keep her dancing for years to come,” said Dr. Coleman.
Ask Dr. Coleman a Question Or Schedule an Appointment
BONITA SPRINGS, FL (MEDICALMASTERS.ORG) AUGUST 08:Dr. Steve Coleman, D.O., medical director of MedicalMasters.org recently returned from a ground-breaking mission to Honduras with fellow U.S. physicians to treat disadvantaged communities suffering from age-related conditions, (including knee joint pain), using cellular therapies such as ProloTherapy. The trip offered far-reaching benefits for local Bonita Springs residents back home in the U.S. as MedicalMasters.org continues pioneering new stem cell treatments for aging Americans using the very same injection technology.
This was the 47th annual two-week trip to Honduras organized by the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation, in association with the University of Wisconsin, consisting of a large international group of dedicated physicians, nurses and assistants.
The one common denominator shared by the entire medical team was a deep desire to help people that are less fortunate and in need of care, particularly a concern for older patients suffering from -osteoarthritis and other age-related joint pain conditions.
“The work we have done in Honduras was humbling, to say the least. People came to us by bus, car or bicycle, from as far as 6 hours away, just to see our team for a single prolotherapy treatment,” said Dr. Coleman
“For many of these patients, this would be their only chance to see a doctor for at least another year.”
Dr. Coleman and the others physician volunteers literally saw hundreds of patients each day, most of which were treated using a powerful cellular technology called prolotherapy, which involves injecting sterile sugar water into affected joints, including the knee, hip and shoulder.
“The experience was humbling on both a professional and personal level. Walking through the streets, people stop, look at us and thank us spontaneously,” said Dr. Coleman.
The experience also allowed him to perfect complex injection techniques that also apply to stem cell procedures he has introduced to his Bonita Springs Clinic, MedicalMasters.org. Not many physicians get the opportunity to obtain such a high level of field training that involve treating dozens of patients each day.
The most patients that the team of 7 Doctors treated in one day
was 204. The steep learning curve helps patients back home in the U.S. who get the benefit of Doctors who have been able to do this procedure hundred or thousands of times, before performing it on you or a loved one.
“The patients in Honduras benefit since they may not ever get to see a doctor outside of this mission, and the people back in the USA get the benefit of such stringent and painstaking training. I now apply these advanced injection techniques to my Stem Cell patients here in Bonita Springs. It is a true win-win for everyone”
Typically, local residents would begin lining up at 6 a.m. each day with first consults beginning at 8 a.m. Patients are registered, triaged and then examined by our physicians to determine if prolotherapy is going to be helpful for their condition.
Prolotherapy is performed by experienced physicians, often with a novice prolotherapist observing and assisting. Patients will continue to be seen until about 6:00 pm – but often much longer depending on the need. “We would never turn away a patient who has taken a six hour trip to see us, and who sometimes has waited all day just to see a doctor. Imagine getting in line at 6AM and not being able to be treated until 6PM. That is the level of need that we saw every day.”
After the last patient is treated, the clinic is cleaned up and made ready for the next day. The entire group meets for dinner together in the evening and then after dinner, the physicians have a lecture on prolotherapy.
The assistants often have “set up” work to do to prepare for the next day. After a long day of hard work, our group then heads to their lodging for a well-deserved rest…. to get ready for the next day of more hard work!
“Even though my Spanish is still evolving, I can almost be brought to tears by the warm thanks people give us. It’s extremely humbling to be able to make such a difference in a person’s life who you really don’t yet know,” said Dr. Coleman.
There is an incredible amount of pre-planning that goes into making it all happen. Mary Doherty, who is the executive director of the foundation, does much of the work herself, and with the help of several very dedicated staffers.”
“The benefit to my medical practice has been to be trained by true masters and thought leaders like Dr. David Rabago MD and many other very talented physicians. You just can’t get training like that here in the USA,” Dr. Coleman said.
The inspirational trip to Honduras has already redefined some of the workflows and strategies used within MedicalMasters.org to treat U.S. patients. In particular, Dr. Coleman has introduced a customized hybrid package of cellular technologies to treat joint pain including prolotherapy, PRP and stem cell therapy. He has also used the organizational and operational skills learned in Honduras to speed up treatment times and train staff to more efficiently handle patient concerns and treatment plans.
Over the last several years many prominent professional athletes have elected to be treated with Stem Cell Therapy, instead of major surgery for the career threatening injuries they have suffered with. They are hoping to alleviate or minimize post-injury pain and downtime. Except in some rare conditions that require immediate surgery (like a meniscal root tear) Stem Cell Therapy can improve outcomes and reduce costs of treatment, while accelerating the time to return to the field or court.
To a professional athlete, every game missed is money not made and stats unearned. Sportsman are thus increasingly looking to the science of regenerative medicine to get back on the playing field quicker.
To put this in perspective we’ve highlighted some notable names in sport that have or will undergo Knee Stem Cell Therapy. The progress made in treating sports injuries is often an early signal of the beneficial treatments that will shortly emerge for the general populace.
In fact, some of the regenerative knee treatments mentioned below are available right now in the USA, even though they are technically considered experimental.
Peyton Manning, 4-time NFL MVP, traveled to Europe for Stem Cell Treatment after two surgeries on his neck did not help address a painful bulging disk. Physicians harvested his own bone-marrow which was then re-injected back into his neck area.
Bartolo Colon, New York Yankees pitcher underwent Stem Cell Therapy in Florida. Fat and bone marrow cells from his own body was re-injected into the elbow and shoulder joints to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.
The Jet’s Chris Johnson, a running back tore the meniscus in his left knee. His own stem cells, the body’s universal building blocks, were transplanted back into the knee joint to speed up the healing process.
Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest tennis players in history, received stem cell treatment on his ailing back in Barcelona using his own fat and bone marrow cells.
Garret Richards, Los Angeles pitcher, underwent Stem Cell Treatment. Stem cells taken from bone marrow in his pelvis were injected back into elbow joint. He had previously undergone surgery for a ruptured patellar tendon during a baseball game.
Racing legend, A.J Foyt, an 82-year-old four-time winner of the Indianapolis 5000 announced he would undergo stem cell therapy to help repair his ankle and shoulder. Foyt said: “Dan Pastorini (the former NFL quarterback) did it and it helped him. Peyton Manning (the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback) did it for his neck and it really helped him. Tony Dorsett (the former Dallas Cowboys running back) did it, so I think I should try it.”
Can regenerative medicine help the man in the street?
Several, but not all of the treatments outlined above, are currently available in Florida for a small spectrum of patients that suffer from joint disease or osteoarthritis.This also includes those who may be experiencing joint pain due to post-operative surgeries or injuries incurred earlier in their lives. This includes meniscus tears in the knee or ball-and-socket joints such as the shoulder.
Same-day FDA/FTC compliant stem cell treatment plans are most notably effective for patients whose condition is not yet bone-on-bone. The National Institute of Health (NIH) aptly describes Regenerative Medicine as “the most recent and emerging branch of medical science, dealing with functional restoration of tissues or organs for the patient suffering from severe injuries or chronic disease.”
The NIH notes that the spectacular progress in the field of stem cell research has laid the foundation for cell based therapies of disease which cannot be cured by conventional medicines (or surgery).
This of course has drawn the attention of several prominent athletes, including those mentioned above. It has always been true that athletes tend to be more progressive in experimenting with the latest medical advances before they are fully absorbed or adopted by the public.
For most of us, as we age, osteoarthritis is a burgeoning concern affecting over 50 million people in the United States, particularly the knee joint. Athletes and non-athletes all rely upon knee cartilage to act as a cushion between the various bones in the joint. It’s a tough, flexible and mostly reliable material that gets damaged by high-impact collisions or repetitive tasks common to many sports and daily activities.
Statistics show that as much as 30 percent of the population will incur some form of knee degeneration by the time they celebrate their 55th birthday, an unwanted ‘present’ that unwraps itself in pain and ultimately knee replacement surgery.
California, one of the most progressive states in the U.S. has shown some leadership in regenerative medicine field recently with news that The California Stem Cell Agency approved close to $33 million for clinical stage research projects testing treatments that include arthritis of the knee.
The agency reports that the goal of the research is to regenerate knee cartilage using a mesenchymal progenitor cell treatment. Funding is aimed at manufacturing the product to ultimately secure Food and Drug Administration approval for a phase one safety trial.
A treatment for the public would likely be years in the future, but options are available immediately in other states like Florida for traditional Prolotherapy, PRP and knee stem cell treatment that involves same-day harvesting of fat cells and bone marrow cells for reinjection back into affected joints such as the knee or elbow.
Some of the athletes referenced above have opted for this technique which is becoming increasingly popular in high-impact sports such as football, basketball and ice hockey. Those athletes that seek more progressive or experimental procedures (currently undergoing clinical trials and awaiting FDA approval) will often fly to Europe or other international destinations to benefit from accelerated healing programs relating to stem cell therapy.
While our clinic at MedicalMasters.org does not advocate miracle cures or non-compliant FDA/FTC stem cell procedures we are encouraged by the positive feedback patients report after undergoing stem cell transplants extracted from their fat and bone marrow cells.Some patients report a 50% improvement in knee mobility after undergoing intermediate/lower-level treatments such as prolotherapy, which is not quite as powerful as stem cell therapy but uses a similar injection process.
While results will differ depending on age and current knee condition the increasing embrace of knee stem cell therapy by professional athletes is a key indicator that regenerative medicine has adopted a leadership position in tackling joint-related injuries and degeneration which hinders all of us from enjoying daily activities such as walking, running and those in more elite sports such as football, from becoming rock star athletes and legends in the game.
NOTE:Our clinic follows all FDA guidelines in the preparation and handling of cellular therapies including stem cells. All procedures done in the clinic are Level 1(Local anesthesia) type procedures, which are the safest class of procedures for the patient. This means the patient remains fully conscious during the procedure and that only local anesthetics are used, similar to what a dentist does when numbing a tooth prior to repair. Please visit this page for more information about our current Stem Cell Promotion.
QUESTION: Why does Insurance not cover Stem Cell Therapy procedures. Is that because it has not had any validated research. Or, because it is performed by a chiropractor? I have an interest in learning more. I’m a physical therapist with very limited experience with patients who have had stem cell procedures, some has not been positive. I need to understand because patients are always asking questions. I realize stem cell therapy is new and therefore not reimbursed by insurance. My concern is effectiveness.
ANSWER: Thank you for your question and allowing us to respond. The research is ongoing and insurance companies typically take a while to catch up to new promising treatments, including “SAME-DAY” #StemCellTherapy.
Our clinic is Federal Trade Compliant (FTC) in that we do NOT make false claims of unusual medical cures or show only outcomes that are better than average. We attempt to present a fair and balanced set of options for our patients, giving true informed consent which includes the good, the bad and other outcomes.
Informed consent in its truest meaning is defined by giving the patient all of their options which include:
Do Surgery (with all risks explained including the very serious risks of General Anesthesia, Bleeding, Infection, Trauma to nearby structures, Blood Clots after surgery, Failure of Surgery etc
Do less invasive procedures: Synvisc injection (knee fluid augmentation with protein solution) , Prolotherapy (sterile sugar water injections) PRP, and Stem Cell Therapies
Regular Medical therapies: Anti-inflammatory medications, narcotics or Tylenol.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation focused medical therapies
Osteopathic or Chiropractic Manipulation
Our clinic follows FDA guidelines in the preparation and handling of all cellular therapies including stem cells. All procedures done in the clinic are Level 1 procedures which are the safest class of procedures for the patient. This means the patient remains fully conscious during the procedure and that only local anesthetics are used.
“Total knee replacements come together with high effort and costs and are not always successful. The aim of this review is to outline the latest advances in stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis as well as highlight some of the advantages of stem cell therapy over traditional approaches aimed at restoration of cartilage function in the knee,” said Dr. Kristen Uth and Dr. Dimitar Trifinov, co-authors of the review.
They conclude: “Stem cell therapy may not become a standard treatment for knee Osteoarthritis until the end of the decade due to various aspects regarding the clinical safety (e.g., risk of complications after the procedure, compatibility of donor stem cells) and the affordability of this treatment for the general public.”
This is an HONEST appraisal of where we currently stand with Stem Cell Therapy. While there are some risks to any procedure and affordability concerns, this is true of any new medical technology. Lastly, we should not forget that there are many situations that arrive after surgery that create unexpected expenses and negative outcomes.
It is estimated that 1/3 of patients who undergo knee and hip replacement surgeries should never have taken them in the first place. Unseen costs and complications arise which should make us pause to consider alternatives. We are typically finding that patients are experiencing positive results from hybrid Stem Cell Therapies, including #Prolotherapy and #PRP which in our opinion carry less risk than invasive knee surgery . If we are able to help patients have less pain and perform activities of daily living with less limitations, that is a win-win situation. If we can do that while lessening surgical risks it is a triple win for patients.
We will only advise Stem Cell Procedures if we feel your body will holistically and positively respond to the treatment. We see ourselves as Functional Medicine proponents seeking long-term and lasting results for our patients. Finally, as discussed in the article above, we do not typically advocate Stem Cell Therapies for severely damaged, bone on bone type of knee osteoarthritis, although some patients have responded positively in that situation, despite having little visible cartilage. Hope wins…!