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Author Topic: My Stem Cell Journey  (Read 34670 times)

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Offline NickCat11

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My Stem Cell Journey
« on: November 10, 2012, 04:27:57 PM »
Good morning/afternoon everyone!

     It's been a little over a year since I began with Prolotherapy and Stem Cell Therapy. I have had fairly good success so I wanted to share my experience in hopes that what I did may help someone else. I'll outline my journey below and try to keep it as simple as possible.

     On June 1st, 2011 I injured my shoulder in my martial arts class. Fast forward three weeks later and the MRI showed a full thickness cartilage defect 1.5 x 2cm in size on my humerus and a large tear in my rotator cuff. Pain was about a 5-6 and ROM was so so. I spent the next few months visiting shoulder specialists and finally came upon one that had a solution that made sense to me, Denovo NT. I still didn't like the idea of getting cut open especially since he would have to cut through my rotator cuff tendon so I considered this my backup plan.

     In August I came across prolotherapy thanks to Google. I was immediately intrigued. In September of 2011 I decided it was worth a shot so I flew out to Chicago to have my first round. I met with Dr. Hauser who was awesome. He recommended stem cell therapy but I didn't do much research on it and didn't feel comfortable so I went for regular prolo with HGH. After 6 weeks I started to feel some improvement in pain and definitely less crackling within the joint. This is when I knew I wanted to commit fully to this treatment. I knew going in that this wasn't going to be a one shot miracle and that many treatments were going to be needed. My next step was stem cell therapy. This started in October of 2011.

     Over the course of the next year I received 3 stem cell treatments from various doctors, all who are wonderful. They included Dr. Ross Hauser (Caring Medical), Dr. Harry Adelson (Docere Clinic), and Dr. Brian Shiple (Regenexx). Reason for seeing different doctors? Cost, imaging guidance, techniques, and physical location. Like I said before, all the doctors I saw are awesome and I would recommend any of them. As far as my progress goes, after each treatment my shoulder felt better. Aside from the stem cell injections I also had my own regimen that I did to help support the treatments. I'll go into detail about that at the end.

     Fast forward to last week. I decided it was time to get an MRI to see if there were any structural changes (new cartilage). Like I said before, my shoulder felt a lot better at this point. I got the results back and the MRI showed that my defect regenerated 50% new cartilage and that my rotator cuff tear reduced in size. Talk about great news. Regenexx actually made a feature blog post about my results which you can see here (http://www.regenexx.com/2012/11/stem-cell-based-shoulder-cartilage-regeneration-in-philly/) I know I'm not totally out of the woods yet but it's a good start and hopefully the progress continues. I plan on doing 2 more treatments next year and then getting another MRI. I'll gladly post or email my MRI report if someone wants verification.

     I'd like to explain now what I did that I feel "may" have enhanced the treatments. I took the following supplements:
          1. Enzymedica Stem XCell (increases stem cell count)
          2. Cosamin Glucaosmine/Chondroitin (joint health)
          3. Enzymedica Repair Gold (joint and soft tissue health)
          4. Papaya extract (increases platelet count)
          5. Multivitamin
          6. Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil (joint health)

      On the physical side I tried to stay as active as possible. I read somewhere (can't find the link) that heat was beneficial for stem cells because of the increased blood flow. So, 5 days a week I went into an infrared sauna for 30-40 minutes. I read infrared heat was great so that's why I chose that type of sauna. The sauna was probably my favorite part of the regimen. I felt great every time I finished a session. In addition to the sauna I also bought a tens unit (Amazon has them cheap) and put those pads on my shoulder on a daily basis. These also increase blood flow to the damaged areas. It was almost like a massage if you've never used one before. Lastly, I bought a total gym. Yes, the one that Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley advertise. Since it was based off a smooth pully system I felt like it would be easy on my shoulder, and it was. I love it. I did my exercises on it 4-5 days a week. It also comes with a bike extension which is awesome too for cardio.

     So in summary, I took supplements, used an infrared sauna, tens unit, and total gym for supporting my stem cell treatments. I hope I didn't bore you guys reading this and hopefully it can help others who are going through the same type of injury whether it be for the shoulder, knee, or ankle. I strongly feel stem cell therapy should be tried before any invasive surgery. It's going to have it's failure rate like any other surgical procedure but the plus side is that it's not invasive and there is hardly any down time. If you guys have any questions for me you can post them here or email me. Thanks for reading!

Nick

     
 
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 05:26:44 PM by NickCat11 »

Offline rob wilson

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 06:40:56 PM »
Enzymedica Stem XCell looks like mainly D3 and Green Tea. Thanks
1997-Bilateral debridement
1999-Lt knee trochlea paste graft
2000-Rt knee trochlea paste graft
2000-Lt knee scar
2002-Lt knee ACI biopsy+plica
2002-Lt knee medial condyle abrasion+HGH
2002-Lt knee scar
2003-Rt knee trochlea abrasion+HGH
2005-Lt knee plica
2008 to present-Regenexx

Offline flowride

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 11:48:03 PM »
That was a great read and thank you for sharing.  It's good to know that your feelings of improvement were not just feelings, but backed by medical proof.  Like you, I am thinking of going back for another round of therapy-either the SCP-PL injections straight to my tendons to help alleviate a protruding meniscus issue OR another round of stem cells. 

I am torn because the SCP-PL seems to be working, albeit taking some time.  I have a strange felling of loyalty to the fine physicians at Healthlink Medical, too.  They are truly AWESOME.  With the discovery of a much more affordable stem cell clinic or two, I can't help but think maybe the stem cells are the way to go, however.  The only downside to this is, unlike a shoulder repair, there is considerable downtime for knee repair-REGARDLESS of what Regenexx or anyone else may tell us.  This especially holds true if you have a job where you're on your feet a great deal of the time.  Truth be told, I would surmise that the most appropriate amount of time for a person with an active job would be 3 months.  And during that 3 months?  Rehab, rehab, REHAB!  I did stationary biking, swimming, pool walking, sauna, and light weight lifting.  It all played its part in the strengthening of my knees but like you, this is not a one shot miracle.  You need multiple attempts.  People need to realize that going in.

In any event, congratulations again on the great news and keep us posted of your further success!

Offline Chicagodude

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 12:17:16 AM »
NickCat11, I'm trying to PM you but just joined this forum and can't figure out how to PM.  I don't see a drop down under your name, nor an option to PM you from your profile.

I wanted to ask you a few questions about your experience with Dr. Hauser in Chicago but I didn't want to hijack your thread.

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 01:00:39 AM »

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 11:39:59 AM »
Update:

Flying out next week for my 4th round of stem cell therapy. Shoulder continues to improve. Hardly any pain with day to day activities now. My plan is to receive this next treatment, continue to work out for the next 3-4 months, and then try to implement sports and see how it feels.

Offline ashok_guru

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 02:02:09 PM »
NickCat,

Are you flying to Utah or Colorado ?
Good to know that you are making good progress.

My knee also coming along good after my second Regenexx-SD.
2009 - Partial Meniscetomy
2010 - Cartilage Debridement
2010 - 2011 - Prolotherapy, PRP, Bone Marrow Prolotherapy, Prolozone
2011 - Regenexx-PL, Regenexx SD and Regenexx-SCP
2012 - HGH Injections
2013 - Regenexx-PL, Regenexx SD, Regenexx-AD and Regenexx-SCP

Offline rob8647932

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 07:07:56 PM »
NickCat - did you get an MRI or ultrasound to determine if there was significant cartilage growth in your shoulder?
Left knee - 1997 debridement, 1999 trochlea paste graft / microfracture), 2002 IAGH injections, 2005 plica and synovium removal, 2009 Regenexx injections
Right knee - 1997 debridement, 2000 trochlea paste graft, 2004 IAGH injections, 2008 Regenexx injections

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 11:33:40 PM »
Ashok,

Great news on your knee! Hopefully it continues to get better. I'm flying out to Utah to see Dr. Adelson for my next treatment. In my opinion his method and technique are excellent and it's done for a fraction of the price compared to Regenexx. Nothing against Regenexx at all, I just can't afford to keep going to them.

Rob8647932,

Yes, my MRI showed that my defect (2cm by 1.5cm) regenerated 50% new cartilage. Regenexx posted a blog about it here... http://www.regenexx.com/2012/11/stem-cell-based-shoulder-cartilage-regeneration-in-philly/ How are you progressing after your stem cell treatments?

Offline rob8647932

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 04:25:36 PM »
I am work in progress. Many different parts but I have had great success with Regenexx.
Left knee - 1997 debridement, 1999 trochlea paste graft / microfracture), 2002 IAGH injections, 2005 plica and synovium removal, 2009 Regenexx injections
Right knee - 1997 debridement, 2000 trochlea paste graft, 2004 IAGH injections, 2008 Regenexx injections

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 05:28:16 PM »
Update:

I had my procedure done yesterday with Dr. Adelson in Utah. Everything went great. I'm pretty sore today but that's to be expected. He utilizes fluoroscopy now in addition to ultrasound for the injections which is great. Not much else to report. I plan on doing one more round in about 6 months and then going for an MRI to see if my cartilage lesion has filled in any more. Any questions let me know. 

Offline Sturge08

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 09:57:24 PM »
Hi Nickcat11

I've had a look at Dr Adelson's bio and his procedure prices are much less than Regenexx, most probably due to the fact he uses a bedside open system centrifuge and doesn't process the stem cells or growth factors in a cell biology lab. He doesn't use a super-platelet mix with the reinjection of the processed stem cells, nor does he perform pre and post injections. He also doesn't insist on seeing patient scans or a telephone conversation with the patient prior to an appointment. So this evidently will reduce the cost.

Did any of this concern you at all?

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 10:40:10 PM »
Sturge,

Honestly it doesn't concern me because there has not been any statistical evidence to show that one method is better than the other. My biggest concern is the location of the extraction (good source) and making sure the cells get to the right area when they're re-injected. Until Regenexx can provide direct statistical proof that the way they handle stem cells greatly enhances the procedure compared to other methods, then I'm not to worried. Bone marrow stem cells are bone marrow stem cells. Most of the studies done that show their effectiveness are done without any "enhancements". Also, Regenexx Cultured is a completely different animal, I'm referring to their SD procedure. In addition, the results speak for themselves. I'm approving on a consistent basis and that's ultimately what's important in my eyes.

Offline Sturge08

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2013, 09:54:09 AM »
NickCat11

I kind of agree with you. I do see Regenexx as the oracle of stem cell procedures, due to their experience and diverse range of procedures. However I must say for a clinic to have treated patients using same day injection procedures for as long as they have, their published results do seem thin on the ground. I know they have strong safety data, which is very important but data which proves that all these pre, post, and super charged stem cell injections are better for the patient than the cheaper centrifuge methods is lacking. Why don't they scan after treatment similar patients who have been treated the Regenexx way and the Dr Adelson's way. The winner is the clinic who's scans show the best joint regeneration results. At moment all we have is their theories, but remember all the research studies which they have carried out proving they could be correct.

I know the cultured method is different, I priced that up last month, came in for one round at $22,000. I think by the time I saved that sort of money up, my ankle would be smashed to bits and nothing will help it, not even a cultured method.

Please keep us posted with your recovery. I'm itching to give another stem cell procedure a go. If i can do it without needing the combined credit of two cards, then i'm all for it. Good luck.

Offline NickCat11

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Re: My Stem Cell Journey
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 10:39:45 AM »
Sturge,

That's a good point. I had tibia bone marrow from Dr. Hauser and then iliac crest bone marrow from Dr. Shiple and Dr. Adelson before I got scanned. I do wish I knew which procedure had the best outcome on my cartilage regenerating.

I do however feel that getting these procedures done on a consistent basis is better then getting one done every year or so. I try to do a procedure every 3 months. For example, Sept 12' I did stem cells, Dec 12' I did HGH, and March 13' I did stem cells again. Probably in July I'll do another one. Although I have no proof, this method to me makes sense since you're getting growth factors injected on a consistent basis.

In regards to the money, after seeing what Regenexx's current pricing is, I'm able to spread out 5-7 treatments with other providers for the same amount. Is 5-7 treatments of HGH and stem cells better than 1 of their SD procedures, my guess is yes.

My personal case is the other issue. My injury was to my shoulder, a non weight bearing joint. I also started these treatments fairly quickly without any prior surgical procedure like mfx. Do these things make a difference, no idea. Would my opinion on this whole subject be different if I didn't get results, probably.