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Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 11:01:44 MDT Print View

Today is day 5 after having a Stem Cell Bone Marrow Prolotherapy done for a torn Meniscus. I had it done in Oak Park, IL at CaringMedical.com by Dr. Ross Hauser, M.D. It was for a complex torn meniscus (a MRI confirmed this) due to an injury incurred doing the Cornell Crack on July 2nd, 2011.

I discussed the hiking injury before getting the MRI here.

The whole procedure is detailed, photographically here.

Of all the things that encouraged me ahead of time about the procedure was this report of its high success rate.

The summary quote is here:

"Patients stated that the response to Prolotherapy met their expectations in 27 out of the 28 knees (96%). Only one out of the 28 patients ended up getting surgery after Prolotherapy. Based on the results of this study, Prolotherapy appears to be an effective treatment for meniscal pathology. While this is only a pilot study, the results are so overwhelmingly positive that it warrants using Prolotherapy as first-line therapy for meniscal pathology including meniscal tears and degeneration."

I was really impressed with the doctor, his clinic and nurses. The lobby was full of patients, almost all of whom had seen the doctor before and who raved about the doctor's ability. One was a female hiker from Colorado.

I was very impressed with the diagnostic skills of the doctor. He spent about 20 minutes with me before the procedure (the nurse about 50 minutes before, during the procedure, and about 20 minutes after the procedure, and she called me up at home the following day). The whole procedure once it is started takes about 15 minutes.

The anesthesia, only local (procaine), was not even felt as anesthesia, and I did not fully realize I was under anesthesia until it wore off about 9 hours later. By the time I landed back in Albany NY, I did have to limp to the terminal entrance and drive home (thank goodness it was my left knee).

The next day I was so sore, I used old crutches to get around. However, the following day, I was able to walk without crutches, and do three separate 1/2 mile walks around the block.

The subsequent day (yesterday), I did a two mile walk around town, no problem at all.

The doctor told me he's thinking my knee will get back 80% as good as it was pre-injury within 2 months. And he says until it gets back 100% as good as it was pre-injury, he recommends a second procedure about 2 months from now (I scheduled it in January for insurance reasons, ie: my HSA account gets an infusion of $1,000 each year from my company and I can pay for the procedure with it).

CaringMedical.com expects full payment the day of procedure and I was very pleasantly surprised the cost was $800 less than I had anticipated, they recently reduced the price of the procedure. The procedure was $1375 but a mandatory first office visit was added on for $250, but the next time, there will be no first office visit fee. I had thought with the medication/supplements for a 2 month period (recommended), the flight, the cabs, the procedure, the office visit, I'd be spending $2900 but I got by with $2100, of which caringmedical.com's payment was $1375 for the procedure/office visit and $300 for two months worth of their special supplements for post-procedure use.

I am already able for the first time since the injury to slowly walk down the stairs without feeling the twinge/weakness I have consistently felt since the injury. In fact the major problem I had with the knee before the surgery was the problem walking down ordinary stairs (I found it easier to hike down a mountain trail than ordinary stairs). My knee does not feel completely like it was July 1st, but I think Dr. Hauser's prediction of 80% recovery towards the pre-injury goal is completely reasonable.

In his diagnosis, he felt, in contrast to the MRI report, which said there was no evidence of a tear in the ACL, that the ACL in my left knee was weaker than that in my right knee, and he thinks that was a contributing factor to the original injury. So in his prolotherapy procedure, he treated not only the torn meniscus, but the ACL.

They took the bone marrow (which has stem cells) from the healthy right knee to put in my left knee. There was zero pain in the right knee after the surgery.

I'll keep the board posted but so far I am 100% satisfied with the money spent and the way things are going.

By the way, one more link in favor of Prolotherapy. It is from the former US Surgeon General, Dr. Edward Koop.

p.s., I have posted a lot of research on Prolotherapy in this thread in the forum, Views from the Top.

Edited by marti124 on 10/22/2011 12:12:58 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 11:18:47 MDT Print View

Roleigh,

Very encouraging.

Thanks for the quick education. I wasn't aware of the option.

I like having as many tricks in my bag as possible for whatever my next injury adventure might include.

Daryl

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 14:17:18 MDT Print View

Roliegh, I.m glad you seem to be doing so well. Keep us updated, OK?

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: 10T 524631m E 5034446m N
Re: Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 14:33:26 MDT Print View

>> In his diagnosis, he felt, in contrast to the MRI report . . .

Ha! - diagnostics humor.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 14:45:25 MDT Print View

Wow, that's about cool!

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 15:35:00 MDT Print View

That certainly is impressive, Roleigh. I wasn't aware that stem cell technology was used this way. Thanks for sharing your experience, and good luck with the healing process.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 19:41:26 MDT Print View

Can I use your words: "due to an injury incurred doing the Cornell Crack on July 2nd, 2011" next time I injure myself?

It sounds sooooo much better than my typical "due to an injury incurred doing the front steps on Saturday night, after a night of drinking."

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 20:21:53 MDT Print View

Daryl, Wikipedia has a web page on the Cornell Crack. It's a wicked first step, you have to lift your left foot up about 28-30" and put it into a toe-hold that has room for 1/3rd of the foot, then kind of jump/lift yourself up and grab a much high ledge with your right arm and then find a footing for your right foot. Way too much stress on the left knee. I should have scouted for about 1/8th of a mile for a walk-a-bout which I later learned after the fact existed or turned around and give up the hike. I was so stupid continuing on the hike.

I've been spoiled hiking in the Sierras all these years, federal tax dollars on trail making and maintenance. Trails all manicured, switchbacks going up mountains. Really, really spoils you for a hike is always 100% a hike, never a climb. Such is not the case in the ADKs or the Catskills.

Anyway, sure, use that excuse. It's a good one!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/22/2011 21:25:45 MDT Print View

I think I'd try to work a hostage rescue and outlaw biker game into the injury story.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/23/2011 01:02:25 MDT Print View

Amazing procedure and best of luck with the results.

Edited by dwambaugh on 10/23/2011 01:45:58 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 10/23/2011 07:58:33 MDT Print View

Roleigh,

You said:

"you have to lift your left foot up about 28-30"

I strained my knee because of a similar big step a few years ago and another backpacker I know of reported an injury doing the same. I've been working hard to avoid such moves since my injury. I know you will be too.

Perhaps others can avoid the injury altogether by reading our experiences. Puts way too much stress on the machinery.

Daryl

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 12/29/2011 19:46:58 MST Print View

Two super fantastic links were found about Prolotherapy today by me. I have more links at my Google Profile.

Position Paper Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): Effectiveness and Appropriate Usage By The Florida Academy of Pain Medicine (FAPM)



Regenerative Injection Therapy (Prolotherapy)



My Google Profile



I am going for my second Stem Cell Prolotherapy treatment for my knee January 10. I am 100% happy and satisfied with my progress so far. I suspect I'll need it only 3 times to get back to pre-injury state. Dr. Hauser suspected I'd need it 3-4 times but at my progress, I think it will only need 3 treatments.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 12/29/2011 21:42:20 MST Print View

Doc thinks I may have torn my meniscus lifting weights the other day. I bet I'm a long way from anyone who does Prolotherapy.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 12/29/2011 21:55:41 MST Print View

Joe, check out my Google Profile for the link entitled "Shopping for a good Prolotherapist" -- there are multiple national directories of prolotherapists, including one for Britain. Check them out!

Edited by marti124 on 12/29/2011 22:40:18 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
best of luck on 12/29/2011 22:38:07 MST Print View

im recovering fairly well from a ACL surgery last year ...

the only thing i can say is that the recovery can be a painful process ... but once you get the OK, the more you use the leg, the less stress itll place on the other knee ... and the more itll strengthen

climbing is actually quite a good recovery activity ... and you might get some more skill to destroy that cornell crack next time ;)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: best of luck on 12/29/2011 22:46:53 MST Print View

"ACL surgery"

I had one that was completely torn, so the surgery removed it without replacement over 25 years ago. Now I can barely tell which knee it was on. It saves weight that way.

--B.G.--

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/12/2012 11:58:39 MDT Print View

Hi,

As one who has had ~30% of the meniscus removed, and continues to have knee issues, I am keen to learn of any new info in this realm. Any new revelations to report back on?

Thanks,
rusty

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/12/2012 16:50:47 MDT Print View

Ditto. Roleigh, you and I had our medical procedures done at roughly the same time. I had about 40% of my meniscus removed. Today, my knee sucks and is uncomfortable 100% of the time. I'm looking forward to an update to see if you're doing any better.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/12/2012 17:05:56 MDT Print View

With most of these knee injuries, the meniscus tears first, and the various ligaments tear second.

For some weird reason, both of my knees were the other way around. Ligaments tear first, and then the meniscus tears not at all or very little.

I don't know how many more miles I have left on the original factory warranty.

--B.G.--

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/12/2012 21:20:04 MDT Print View

Funny you two should post on this today. I just flew back in from Chicago after having my third Stem Cell Prolotherapy treatment done today. Before I report on that, the latest issue of the Journal of Prolotherapy is the best documented research summary to present to any medical board or insurance board to justify the use of Prolotherapy written to date. Check it out. It is free, the entire issue is in PDF format.

http://www.journalofprolotherapy.com/free_issue_12/JOP_vol_3_issue_4_december_2011.pdf Link



JOP Case for Prolo



I consider my knee 95 percent healed to pre-injury level insofar as walking or hiking goes. I consider it 75 percent healed to pre-injury level insofar as being able to run. What does this mean? In practice if I do a mountain hike of an Adirondack High Mountain Peak, I won't notice any problem in my knee except on the way down for about 2% of the time, I'll notice that my left knee is not as healthy as my right knee. I no longer limp going down hill. My hiking partners are amazed at this. However I can not hike downhill fast without occasionally favoring the right knee. But if I walk at a moderate pace, I can avoid favoring any knee. It's only when I attempt to run that I find myself limping to some degree. I asked Doctor Hauser today if having 1-2 more sessions of Stem Cell Prolotherapy if I could get back to pre-injury level for running purposes. He thinks it is possible. I have had so much success so far I'm tempted.

Check out my Google Profile for many more links. See my Shopping for a Prolotherapist Advice Document if you want a local prolotherapist.

I am 100% thrilled with how I'm doing and other than perhaps maybe once or twice a month feeling a very tiny give in the knee, there are no problems felt in ordinary walking or hiking anymore. It takes about 2 months of optimal benefit from each procedure so I won't know how this third procedure will be. From the start the doctor told me I'd need 3-4 procedures done. The cost is about $1,100 per procedure for the Stem Cell Prolotherapy (it would be only $350 if it was standard prolotherapy only).

Some Prolotherapists charge more, some less. I know for Stem Cell Prolotherapy, Dr. Hauser is most competitive in his costs.

Dr. Ross Hauser has treated patients who have first had conventional surgery done.

If money is no problem for you, I'd consider Regnexx.com as they have patented procedures for doing really tough situations (anyone who has had conventional surgery done first, makes their case tougher to get new cartilage grown than if they only have the Stem Cell Prolotherapy done as the first recourse). If money is a problem, I'd contact Dr. Hauser. Take a look at my links and this latest JOP issue above. If you want your knee back to being good enough to do comfortable hiking I'd definitely do it.

Edited by marti124 on 03/13/2012 06:48:15 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/12/2012 23:36:11 MDT Print View

I spent about 2 hours updating my "shopping for a good prolotherapist" paper, linked to at my Google Profile tonight.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/13/2012 04:05:46 MDT Print View

Roliegh,
Several hospitals are getting the seperation equipment in their labs. My brother just had some damaged foot cartilage (from a construction accident) done. He is healing well after three weeks. The pain while walking is reduced to below pre-treament levels already and he is cursing at his crutches...a good sign.
Thanks,
jdm

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/13/2012 07:07:13 MDT Print View

Please elaborate, James, by "separation equipment". Are you talking about putting one's bone marrow in a centrifuge, isolating the stem cells, culturing it and letting it grow/multiply exponentially, then later re-inserting it in the donor's body? (The process is never done in one day.)

There are two main styles of Stem Cell Prolotherapy, the one described above, and the much more simpler, affordable one, where the donated bone marrow (typically from either the tibia or hip) is what is injected immediately back into the injured part (except that the syringe needle used to do the extraction is disposed of (the syringe is kept, but a brand new, sterile needle is used for the re-injection in the injured part of the body).

Caring Medical used to do the more elaborate procedure but very quickly switched to the simpler, much more affordable procedure.

The FDA is making it very risky to do the isolation/culture method in the USA. See these 3 articles for more on this.

Our Patient\'s Autologous Stem Cells are Drugs: The FDA Moving down a Dangerous Slippery Slope

Stem Cells and the Lawsuit That May Shape Our Medical Future

Stem Cells, FDA, and the Edge of Science: Three Expert Viewpoints

One of Regenexx's procedures they do in the Cayman Islands (Regenexx-C-(Cultured)).

By the way, Regenexx's has a fantastically interesting, free e-book, all are recommended to download and read. Free E-book: Orthopedics 2.0-How Regenerative Medicine will Create the Next Generation of Less Invasive Orthopedics - by Dr. Chris Centeno, M.D.

http://www.regenexx.com/regenexx-procedures-family/2010/09/dr-centenos-new-book-on-regenerative-orthopedics/

Edited by marti124 on 03/13/2012 07:08:29 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/13/2012 12:33:05 MDT Print View

Roleigh, I believe it was a variation of the first technique you mention. The seperation took about 2 hours. After marrow extraction (a matter of less than a half hour) he waited and was then reinjected in a few (not sure how many) areas.There was no regrowth cycle; I am not sure how a short duration seperation could result in any growth cycle. The ammount of marrow removed was higher, he is supposed to be carefull about any nasty wounds for about 6-12mos. I did not ask hoy many locations were used, but he was complaining about the pain of the procedure, apparently they could not use local anesthetics, probably wouldn't work on bone penetrations all that well, anyway. Last I talked to him he was doing fine with the whole thing. His foot was sort of crushed (lots of damaged cartlidge, but, no broken bones.) He has been wearing orthotic liners for several years.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/13/2012 13:00:01 MDT Print View

Thanks James. Going back to the Regenexx's page, I see there are multiple variations of same-day procedures.

http://www.regenexx.com/regenexx-procedures-family/compare-regenexx-procedures/

I took a pain medication an hour before the procedure but even then the actual sucking out of the bone marrow is the most painful part of the whole procedure. I was holding two rubber balls as hard as I could and even then I muttered "ouch". The drilling into the bone was almost instantly and didn't hurt at all. It was the extraction of the 1/3rd ounce of bone marrow. The actual prolotherapy injections did not hurt much at all. The doc said the extraction of the bone marrow is what bothers everyone.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/15/2012 19:04:18 MDT Print View

A nice blog by a professional baseball player,C.J. Nitkowski, who got back into the game because of using stem cell prolotherapy is covered here:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/the_bonus/08/02/nitkowski/index.html

http://www.cjbaseball.com/stem-cell-blog.htm

I stumbled across this after reading about the more famous case of a baseball pitcher who got Stem Cell Prolotherapy (and afterwards could pitch faster than before his injury).

http://www.regenexx.com/tag/bartolo-colon-stem-cell/

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/01/get-used-to-bartolo-colon-style-stem-cell-procedures-because-theyre-going-to-explode-in-popularity/

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/6831546-574/yankees-benefitting-from-bartolo-colon-after-mysterious-stem-cell-surgery.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576321713447010904.html

I agree that it's going to be the professional sports personalities who take this course of medical care versus traditional orthopedic surgery who are going to cause more and more lay sports enthusiasts (if you can call backpacking a sports) to do likewise. It won't be the Orthopedic industry leading the way, they have too much money to lose as the newer approach is far simpler, non-surgical, and requires fewer medical professionals/equipment involved.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/15/2012 19:51:01 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the info, Roleigh. I was feeling a sense of excitement....until you mentioned "drilling into the bone". Wowza! Makes me cringe to think about it. Regardless, thanks again...and please, keep us updated. I would also love to hear about other's experience with meniscul issues, prolotherapy or not.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 03/16/2012 07:30:36 MDT Print View

Rusty, I 100% understand your feeling. It's not anywhere as bad as it sounds. The doc uses what looks like a toy plastic pistol (with a cone pointy-end). You are first given a salve that numbs the nerves on the leg (feels like vaseline), then in a split second that drill is inside your bone (it's more like a nail gun, it just seems to pop through the bone). No pain is felt, you're amazed it's done so fast. But then the syringe is put through the hole and the doc then sucks out 1/3rd ounce of bone marrow, you feel the suction as a strong bruising effect. That is the only painful part of the whole procedure where it is hard to be quiet. One hour before the procedure, I do take medication to make the procedure more tolerable. I walk out of the procedure and spend most of the day walking afterwards (due to the O'hara airport, etc). No problem, etc. But I do take the pain medication every 6 hours, the last dose being at night. The next day I didn't need any medication or anything. Although after my first session I did need medication that second day. But never the third day.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Torn Meniscus Treated with Stem Cell Prolotherapy on 04/01/2012 13:23:06 MDT Print View

Today, I have done a major research update in my web document (which I continually keep updated), entitled "Shopping for a good prolotherapist" located here.

For those considering a Prolotherapist, you'll definitely want to read this document. You won't find any other advice document that goes into this much probing detail.