A few weeks ago, I read a thought-provoking article about fibromyalgia and I would like to discuss a bit further about this terrible illness and how Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell treatments can greatly help patients that suffer from this particular medical condition.
Consistent with what was mentioned in this article, fibromyalgia involves a group of symptoms in which generalized pain is predominant and the patients tend to experience pain in multiple areas of their bodies simultaneously, often also accompanied by constant fatigue and even symptoms of depression.
Recientemente, leí un artículo en este mismo periódico donde se comentaba que más de 54 millones de norteamericanos se ven limitados de sus actividades diarias producto de la artritis y que aproximadamente “una de cada cuatro personas” la padecen.
El artículo además comentaba que aunque la actividad física pudiera mejorar la artritis, sin embargo, el dolor hace casi imposible a estos pacientes comenzar cualquier tipo de programa de ejercicios por más simple que sea. La mayoría de estos pacientes también están en sobrepeso, padecen del corazón y además muchos son diabéticos.
Recently, after conducting an autologous stem cell transplant on the arthritic knee of an elderly patient (Raquel R), I started to have an interesting conversation with some of her family members gathered at the recuperating room. Everyone was utterly amazed on how quickly and painlessly the entire procedure had been completed and how well Raquel was doing. But suddenly, the conversation took an even more interesting twist.
For years, this family had been desperately looking for a valuable option to help Raquel with her overwhelming knee pain. Unfortunately, her medical options were very limited, mostly due to her illness and her inability to be able to undergo an invasive surgery and also to be exposed to the danger of general anesthesia.
Como les expresé en mi artículo de la semana pasada, hemos demostrado científicamente, que no solo el individuo envejece, sino que también disminuye el número de células disponible, así como la capacidad de sus propias células madre de regenerar el tejido dañado.
Les explicaba además, que las células envejecían ligeramente de los 50 a 60 y moderadamente de 60 a 70 y que esto se torna aún más crítico después de los 70 años. Curiosamente, este fenómeno es más marcado en las células madre provenientes de la médula ósea que de las derivadas de la grasa, en otras palabras, es una realidad que la grasa envejece más lentamente que la médula ósea.
This week, I would like to comment on an article initially published by the prestigious BMJ (Spanish Journal of Muscles and Bones) in English and also recently in Spanish (by El Nuevo Herald) discussing the controversial topic about the inefficiency of arthroscopy surgery.
Arthroscopy is a very popular operation that attempts to repair the meniscus and damaged cartilage through small incisions with the assistance of a video camera. It is performed more than 700,000 times a year, mostly in the knee. However, about 15 recent medical studies (conducted on more than 1,700 patients) show that the operation does not provide relief or improve joint function and furthermore, shows multiple complications such as infections, which can be very serious. All this at the astronomical cost of more than 3 billion dollars!
About 14 years ago, I started working in the field of what is now known as Regenerative Medicine or Ortho-Biological Medicine. In these 14 years, I pleasantly observed how the field has developed and also how the treatments are becoming more and more successful, but this level of success is only guaranteed based on the actual quality of the product being used.
Using top quality Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) as well as the Autologous Stem Cells obtained for the treatment is of utmost importance for the overall effectiveness of the treatment. Our StemCell Miami institute has had so much success over the years, strictly because we always strive to provide our patients with the best quality autologous Ortho-Biological products. For example, we have our Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) which is extracted from one’s own blood with a special process and used in cases of chronic inflammations in tendons and bursae (either in the shoulder, hip, knee or foot). As long as the PRP is double-spun on a special PRP machine (like ours), you have a 90% chance of improvement.
The ligamentization process is frustrating because it is an unseen rate limiting step in an athlete’s recovery. Some athletes regain motion, strength, and proprioception at the six-month mark and appear outwardly healed, but the level of ligamentization of their graft is unknown and therefore a return to sport can jeopardize their recovery. For this reason, it is ideal to allow athletes recovering from ACL reconstruction as much time for rehabilitation as logistically possible, assuming it doesn’t jeopardize their return to sport timeline. Many instances of ACL reconstruction failure can be attributed to a failure of graft incorporation and/or the ligamentization process, so giving the athlete adequate time for recovery is best.
Recently, I experienced one of those days that made me feel very proud about the use of stem cells. It would have been accurately described as “a perfect game”, just like my friend, stem cell patient, and famous baseball player Tony “Tany” Perez, often would say.
Of the 12 patients I examined yesterday (6 weeks after the implantation of their stem cells and as required by our protocol), all of them responded extremely positively to their treatments and none of them had any reported adverse side-effects. I reiterate (as I have done numerous times in the past) that these amazing results are somewhat unusual and basically unparalleled, even when compared to modern medicine standards.
Like I have consistently mentioned on many of my previous articles, the unlimited capacities of autologous stem cells and platelets never ceases to amaze me.
While at our StemCell Miami Institute (one of the few in the world) we specialize in treating orthopedic related illnesses like: osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, shoulder and issues related to the spine, there are times when we also try to help patients in need of treatments that are outside of the “true realm” of our medical specialty. Such is the case with Denisse, a close family friend and owner of a busy Nicaraguan restaurant in the city of Doral, where she unfortunately poured (by accident) a pot of hot oil all over the back of her legs, causing her a painful second degree type burn.
In my opinion, one of the hardest things to accept is a new type of medical treatment, particularly when it changes the philosophy, parameters and overall results that we are expecting and basically used to receiving. Stem cells are undoubtedly, no exception to this rule.
About 6 weeks ago, Eduardo K (a Cuban doctor with a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburg in internal medicine and nephrology), brought his wife Maria to our institute, in order to assess the possibility of using stem cells to cure the severe chronic pain in her ankle. A pain so severe, that it was basically hindering her ability to walk and Dr. K also expressed his extreme hesitation & concerns about having his wife be involved in an invasive ankle surgery at this stage of her adult life.