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Author Topic: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?  (Read 7877 times)

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Offline exrunner1

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2018, 09:21:17 PM »
exrunner1:

Thanks, I'm hoping it goes well too. I guess I could have a separate page, but since this is the cultured cell thread and I'm apparently the only one here who has actually tried it, I think it's appropriate to share my experience here. If anybody else has tried cultured cells they're welcome to share their experience as well! I know they're out there, just not on this little corner of the internet.

I'm not sure if cells injected into the back impact other body parts. If they did somehow migrate out (which is possible but seems unlikely) I don't think they would be harmful. Regenexx tracks their patients in a registry and has published safety data, so if harmful effects were occurring I think that would have come to light by now (after 13 years doing these procedures). When I was in Cayman my next door neighbor at the hotel was also a patient and was getting some discs in his back injected. He was in A LOT of pain afterwards, my recovery was a cake-walk in comparison. I didn't have any discs injected, just muscles, ligaments, facet joints and epidurals.

I actually did try Regenexx-SD first for my left knee and experienced no improvement in my condition. I improved significantly with Regenexx-C, I mean a night and day difference! With culture expansion you get 100-1000 times more stem cells. In addition to that it's a "pure" stem cell injection, as opposed to a bone marrow concentrate injection (ie. SD) which is really many types of cells mixed together, a small percentage of which are stem cells. Many people do improve with SD though, and Regenexx has registry data showing that. The biggest difficulty with C is the cost, 3 times as expensive as an SD procedure. However in my case, I would have actually saved money if I skipped the SD and went straight for C.

Having researched as much as I can, my opinion is that there is more evidence of efficacy for cultured cells, which is consistent with my experience. Most of the studies on cultured cell injections include MRIs that show repair of cartilage and subchondral bone. My own MRIs show dramatic improvements. In addition cultured cell injections have now been tested in at least 7 randomized controlled trials (just for bone marrow, not adipose). I've searched extensively for similar data on bone marrow concentrate injections and haven't found anything comparable. The studies that do show cartilage repair combine BMC with surgery, ie. Dr. Broyles, etc.

Also, cultured cell injections aren't a panacea. Last year I met a fellow patient who was getting his arthritic hip treated. It didn't work... he ended up getting it resurfaced. My own knee, while significantly improved, is definitely not "brand new". I still have damaged cartilage which I'm hoping will further improve with my second treatment.

Before the FDA cracked down and Regenexx was still doing cultured cells in the US (pre-2010) there was a thread with a lot of patients sharing their experiences. A very interesting read. See the link below:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=40048.0

Thanks a lot, Mate.

Offline Vanderbilt1

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2018, 01:55:50 AM »
Any update on your progress DB? Iím curious, did the procedure reduce crepitus in your knee?

Offline db1984

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2018, 06:49:44 AM »
Hi Vanderbilt1,

This is somewhat subjective but I do think the crepitus has improved. What's interesting is that when I bend the knee unloaded it sounds about the same, but when I put a load on it and bend I can hear a difference. At it's worst it sounded like a wet paper bag, now it's more like hard clicks. Seems like the cartilage still isn't perfectly smooth but has firmed up. Take that with a grain of salt of course. My 8 month post-injection MRI showed what looked like improvements in the cartilage on the T2 sequence. Most significant improvement on MRI was that the bone marrow lesions disappeared.

Functionally my knees have improved significantly, but still aren't perfect. I'm doing stair climbing workouts and recently started doing squats and lunges just with my bodyweight, but with very low reps, just to see how they feel. I even did a little jogging a few weeks ago, but am by no means attempting long distance runs or sprints yet.

They still flare up a little if I push them too hard, but not nearly as bad as they did before the injections. I have patellar tendinopathy that I've been rehabbing with single leg eccentric decline squats on a slant board. That seems to be my primary knee issue at the moment.
Jun 16: Patellofemoral OA, Lumbar DDD
Aug 16: Regenexx-SD left knee, PRP right knee
Mar 17: Bone marrow aspiration for cell culture
Apr 17: Regenexx-C both knees, lumbar spine, left shoulder
Jun 17: PRP both Achilles, right hip, both knees
Jan 18: Knees and back MUCH better, planning 2nd treatment

Offline exrunner1

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2018, 05:38:00 PM »
Hi Vanderbilt1,

This is somewhat subjective but I do think the crepitus has improved. What's interesting is that when I bend the knee unloaded it sounds about the same, but when I put a load on it and bend I can hear a difference. At it's worst it sounded like a wet paper bag, now it's more like hard clicks. Seems like the cartilage still isn't perfectly smooth but has firmed up. Take that with a grain of salt of course. My 8 month post-injection MRI showed what looked like improvements in the cartilage on the T2 sequence. Most significant improvement on MRI was that the bone marrow lesions disappeared.

Functionally my knees have improved significantly, but still aren't perfect. I'm doing stair climbing workouts and recently started doing squats and lunges just with my bodyweight, but with very low reps, just to see how they feel. I even did a little jogging a few weeks ago, but am by no means attempting long distance runs or sprints yet.

They still flare up a little if I push them too hard, but not nearly as bad as they did before the injections. I have patellar tendinopathy that I've been rehabbing with single leg eccentric decline squats on a slant board. That seems to be my primary knee issue at the moment.

Good to know you are improving. In one of your previous posts you have mentioned jogging up and down the stairs(188 steps) 4 to 5 times a day. I was assuming you are getting back to your original activity levels. What are your activity levels now and what levels are planning for in the future? Have you seen/known anyone who have returned to long distance running after this procedure?

I am following your progress with great interest. The reason being I am also looking into getting cultured stem cell procedure. After years of exercise, I am doing much better now. I am prepared to spend money on cultured stem cells. But if I cannot run there is no point in spending those dollars.

Please let me know what you think about it.

Offline ankle_boneonbone

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2018, 02:09:40 AM »
Hi Guys,

I haven't gotten any treatment yet, due to financial reasons, and while I was +- fine the first two years, I have now definitely deteriorated.

Am now looking into stem cells again.

Anyone knows the cost of treatment at Teknon in spain?

About the hydrogel in Israel, I will get an update and post on the forum for everyone. I know they are now doing phase 2 clinical trials for it.

Thanks!

Offline db1984

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2018, 08:58:47 AM »
exrunner1,

Yes, I've been doing the stair workouts for a while, but as of last week decided I'm taking a break for a while to focus more on patellar tendon rehab. The tendinopathy has been much more stubborn than I expected. It's fine once I warm them up but the first few minutes of activity are painful.

People who get this procedure are very few and far between, and I don't really know anybody other than myself who has done it, so I can't comment on people getting back to distance running. I did some running on the beach this summer, but it was only a couple minutes at a time and not something I did regularly.

As for my activity level, I'm noticeably improved but not back to the level I was at before all my injuries. I think this is due to numerous factors, such as the complex nature of my injuries. I think it's likely I'll pursue more treatment at some point in the future, but I can't say exactly when. Might be a few years down the road or maybe sooner depending on my circumstances.

I'm 18 months out from my first cell injections and 5 months out from the second. I would like to get another MRI at some point to see if there have been any more structural changes in my knees. It's definitely not perfectly cartilage repair as I still have crepitus in my left knee, I just want to make sure it's still heading in the right direction.

ankle_boneonbone,

I'm a little leary of the Teknon clinic at this point. I've received three cost estimates from them ranging from 15,000 euros to over 60,000. If you decide to pursue them for treatment make sure you get a straight answer from them regarding price. I would look into the Regenexx Cayman clinic. Just be sure to ask a lot of questions and make sure you get a comprehensive estimate. Also understand this has a good chance of helping your ankle but it won't make it perfect or brand new, especially if it's bone on bone like your name suggests.

-Dane
Jun 16: Patellofemoral OA, Lumbar DDD
Aug 16: Regenexx-SD left knee, PRP right knee
Mar 17: Bone marrow aspiration for cell culture
Apr 17: Regenexx-C both knees, lumbar spine, left shoulder
Jun 17: PRP both Achilles, right hip, both knees
Jan 18: Knees and back MUCH better, planning 2nd treatment

Offline exrunner1

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2019, 08:33:36 PM »
exrunner1,

Yes, I've been doing the stair workouts for a while, but as of last week decided I'm taking a break for a while to focus more on patellar tendon rehab. The tendinopathy has been much more stubborn than I expected. It's fine once I warm them up but the first few minutes of activity are painful.

People who get this procedure are very few and far between, and I don't really know anybody other than myself who has done it, so I can't comment on people getting back to distance running. I did some running on the beach this summer, but it was only a couple minutes at a time and not something I did regularly.

As for my activity level, I'm noticeably improved but not back to the level I was at before all my injuries. I think this is due to numerous factors, such as the complex nature of my injuries. I think it's likely I'll pursue more treatment at some point in the future, but I can't say exactly when. Might be a few years down the road or maybe sooner depending on my circumstances.

I'm 18 months out from my first cell injections and 5 months out from the second. I would like to get another MRI at some point to see if there have been any more structural changes in my knees. It's definitely not perfectly cartilage repair as I still have crepitus in my left knee, I just want to make sure it's still heading in the right direction.

ankle_boneonbone,

I'm a little leary of the Teknon clinic at this point. I've received three cost estimates from them ranging from 15,000 euros to over 60,000. If you decide to pursue them for treatment make sure you get a straight answer from them regarding price. I would look into the Regenexx Cayman clinic. Just be sure to ask a lot of questions and make sure you get a comprehensive estimate. Also understand this has a good chance of helping your ankle but it won't make it perfect or brand new, especially if it's bone on bone like your name suggests.

-Dane

Thanks a lot for the information. How is your progress coming along.

Offline db1984

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2019, 08:36:28 AM »
exrunner1,

Recovery is going pretty well. I previously described the stubbornness of my patellar tendons... I've gone through a lot of trial and error with rehabbing them. If you've ever dealt with tendinosis and read up on the rehab protocols, eccentric exercise is the go to approach for the most part, and for patellar tendons in particular, eccentric decline squats on a slant board. I think I was overdoing it because I cut back significantly on the frequency I do the exercises and my pain levels have decreased noticeably. I'm cautiously optimistic about that, as I only made that change a few weeks ago.

I've returned to the stair climbing workouts. It's 188 steps, which I climb repeatedly from 5-7 times per workout. I climb 2 steps at a time to get a decent range of motion that involves the glutes and hamstrings, not just the quads. Right now I'm doing 2 of those workouts per week, usually Wednesday and Saturday. During the workouts I try to focus on pushing a hard pace so my leg muscles are burning and I'm getting winded at the top of the climb. I'm not at my strongest but have a decent strength level in my legs right now... Which is a good sign! Especially since muscle wasting is one of those big problems when your knees go downhill. I would like to get to the point that I can run the stairs 2 steps at a time, but I'm not really confident enough to do it yet. A couple months ago I threw caution to the wind and decided to try sprinting up a single flight of stairs just to see what would happen. I was able to do it and had a little pain, but not much. I'm not convinced that's sustainable right now though.

On the days I'm not doing the stairs I either rest or do core exercises and some upper body work. For my core I do planks and side planks. I also do single leg bridges, which hits the low back, glutes and hamstrings. I've noticed an improvement in my ability to activate my glutes, which I think will be helpful in the long run. For upper body work I'm mainly doing pull ups and push ups, and try to emphasize good form and range of motion over speed and number of reps.

So in the big picture my knees appear to be holding up pretty well. Well enough that I can exercise hard enough to build some fitness without knee pain being a limiting factor. Occasionally if I overwork them they get a little inflamed, but not the intense "knees on fire" feeling when you have active OA and the inflammation is out of control. This is 22 months after my first injections of cultured cells and 9 months after the second round of injections. I haven't completely returned to their pre-injury performance though. I was pretty athletic back then and it's probably asking a lot for knees that have been through hell and back at age 34. I do think my knees will need more work at some point, especially my left knee, in which the trochlea cartilage defect hasn't completely healed. I think for now it's stabilized, in other words not degenerating, but given enough time, maybe several years down the road, it will probably start to degenerate again, at which point I'll probably need more stem cell injections or maybe pursue some other options. I'm also researching additional options for my patellar tendons, assuming they continue to be stubborn. There's an interesting technique called intratissue percutaneous electrolysis (EPI) that some doctors in Spain are using for tendon regeneration, I've been in contact with one of the clinics that does it and may travel there if I really think it's necessary.

My other treated body parts are doing well. My low back is 90% better, it's probably the part that has responded the best. The achilles tendons are still holding up well after my 2nd round of PRP injections last June, as is my iliopsoas tendon. My right ankle, which isn't super painful but has some consistent clicking and popping, will be evaluated pretty soon. I'll probably get some PRP injections for it just to be proactive.
Jun 16: Patellofemoral OA, Lumbar DDD
Aug 16: Regenexx-SD left knee, PRP right knee
Mar 17: Bone marrow aspiration for cell culture
Apr 17: Regenexx-C both knees, lumbar spine, left shoulder
Jun 17: PRP both Achilles, right hip, both knees
Jan 18: Knees and back MUCH better, planning 2nd treatment

Offline ChrondoCanuck

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2019, 06:15:34 PM »
db1984 - thanks a lot for the very informative post. I am 3 years older than you and have had similar issues with my knee, though perhaps not as bad. That pre and post MNRI scans are really something! There is no denying the it - you aren't just in some placebo effect post-op bliss.

When I had stem cells 3 years ago for chrondomalicia under my left patella, we used SVF (fat adispose). I was told at the time it has 100x more stem cells than bone marrow. Do you know Regenexx uses BMAC when SVF is much less invasive?

Suggest you read a blog called "Healing my knees". Low impact, high rep, consistent exercise helped that fellow heal OA knees, without any procedures. It may change your thinking on how you work out, because it sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure and strain on your knees with all those stair exercises. Just food for thought.

All the best!

Offline exrunner1

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2019, 09:38:07 PM »
db1984 - thanks a lot for the very informative post. I am 3 years older than you and have had similar issues with my knee, though perhaps not as bad. That pre and post MNRI scans are really something! There is no denying the it - you aren't just in some placebo effect post-op bliss.

When I had stem cells 3 years ago for chrondomalicia under my left patella, we used SVF (fat adispose). I was told at the time it has 100x more stem cells than bone marrow. Do you know Regenexx uses BMAC when SVF is much less invasive?

Suggest you read a blog called "Healing my knees". Low impact, high rep, consistent exercise helped that fellow heal OA knees, without any procedures. It may change your thinking on how you work out, because it sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure and strain on your knees with all those stair exercises. Just food for thought.

All the best!

Can you please provide the link to that blog?

Offline Vickster

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Re: Where to get cultured stem cell procedure?
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2019, 10:22:38 PM »
db1984 - thanks a lot for the very informative post. I am 3 years older than you and have had similar issues with my knee, though perhaps not as bad. That pre and post MNRI scans are really something! There is no denying the it - you aren't just in some placebo effect post-op bliss.

When I had stem cells 3 years ago for chrondomalicia under my left patella, we used SVF (fat adispose). I was told at the time it has 100x more stem cells than bone marrow. Do you know Regenexx uses BMAC when SVF is much less invasive?

Suggest you read a blog called "Healing my knees". Low impact, high rep, consistent exercise helped that fellow heal OA knees, without any procedures. It may change your thinking on how you work out, because it sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure and strain on your knees with all those stair exercises. Just food for thought.

All the best!

Can you please provide the link to that blog?

He might mean Richard Bedard's Saving my knees blog/book (a recognised source for PFS management)

http://savingmyknees.blogspot.com
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up