Skip the Surgery

Nonsurgical procedure regenerates aching, arthritic knee joint.

Time was when Burnie Herring would while away most of her downtime hours working in her yard. The now 86-year-old retired school bus driver has long considered herself a “yard person.” The same goes for just about everyone else in her family as well.

Burnie Herring opted for stem cell therapy to regenerate her arthritic knee and could not be happier with the results.

Burnie is walking comfortably again after having stem cell therapy on her right knee.

“My two sons and I, we’re all yard people,” Burnie enthuses. “We love a beautifully manicured and landscaped yard. To a lot of people, that seems like work. But I never considered it work. For me, getting out in the yard was more like therapy.

“I had these old clothes that I would wear when I worked out in the yard. I’d throw those on along with a headband and a wide-brim hat and go out there and mow and edge and garden and just have a ball with it. I really enjoyed it.”

A longtime Brandon resident, Burnie now lives in Plant City, where she recently had to scale back the time she devoted to making her yard look beautiful because of a painful knee that reached its peak during a family crisis last March.

“My husband had a heart attack, and I was hobbling down the corridor at the hospital one day when my daughter noticed how much difficulty I was having walking, and ran and got me a wheelchair,” Burnie remembers.

“It was my right knee that was hurting so much and making it hard for me to walk. After that incident at the hospital, I finally decided to go see my orthopedic surgeon in Lakeland. I was hoping he’d be able to take care of this for me.”

After conducting a thorough examination, Burnie’s orthopedic surgeon learned that the cause of Burnie’s knee pain was osteoarthritis. He initially attempted to treat the knee with a series of cortisone injections.

“But that didn’t help one bit!” Burnie exclaims. “So, I called them back and told them I still had the pain, and this time they prescribed prednisone. But that didn’t do me any good either. That’s when the doctor’s assistant started talking about a knee replacement.

“I absolutely did not want to go through that, and then one day while I was at my eye doctor’s office, I saw an article in Tampa Health Care News about a woman who had stem cell therapy for her knee problem and had nothing but good things to say about it.

“After reading that article, I decided to call the doctor’s office where the woman went for the stem cell therapy. The woman I talked to on the phone was very nice and said, Why don’t you come in and we’ll talk about it, so I made an appointment.”

The practice Burnie called was Regenerative Orthopedic Institute, where Erick A. Grana, MD, specializes in regenerative medicine. He treats patients such as Burnie with a nonsurgical regenerative technique called stem cell therapy.

Scalpel-Free Techniques

Unlike traditional invasive surgery, which can result in blood loss, scarring and long, painful recovery periods, stem cell therapy requires only injections of stem cells into the damaged joint. The injections are administered by the doctor right in his office.

Burnie Herring opted for stem cell therapy to regenerate her arthritic knee and could not be happier with the results.

“It’s really remarkable the difference the stem cell treatment has made…
I would do it again in a
minute if I had to.” -Burnie

In addition to providing pain relief, stem cell therapy can reverse damage caused by osteoarthritis. This reversal is accomplished by regenerating the cartilage and connective tissues in and around the joint area.

“Regenerative medicine treats disease and injuries by harnessing the body’s own healing powers,” Dr. Grana clarifies. “The natural healing process is accelerated by a combination of growth factors and the patient’s own bioactive cells, resulting in a safe, effective, nonsurgical treatment.”

Dr. Grana has developed a system for the delivery of stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the pain generators in and around joints such as the knees,
shoulders and hips that he calls RegenaJoint™.

He has also developed a similar system to treat the spine. That process is called RegenaSpine™. Both treatments use live x-ray guidance to ensure precise placement of the stem cells, which restore function, improve quality of life and reduce or eliminate the need for surgery and narcotic medications.

In addition, RegenaJoint and RegenaSpine both use autologous cells, which are stem cells, platelet-rich plasma and growth factors obtained from the patient’s own body, to regenerate the cartilage and connective tissue in the joints, spinal discs, tendons and ligaments.

When combined with concentrated platelets and growth factors, these stem cells become a powerful, natural repairing mechanism for aching backs and painful joints that allows patients to avoid surgery and the risks that come with it.

“We extract stem cells from bone marrow or fat and platelet-rich plasma from the patient’s own blood to use in the problem areas,” explains Dr. Grana, who obtained the stem cells for Burnie’s treatment from her belly fat.

“He took about two ounces of fat from below my navel,” Burnie confirms. “I told him that he could have gotten more if he had gone around the sides and back. He could have gotten himself a gallon of fat that way.

“They then drew blood from my arm to get the platelets and mixed that with the stem cells from my belly fat, injected my knee and that was it. They didn’t have to use any anesthesia or anything. The whole process was very simple.”

Effective Results

It was also effective. Patients typically begin to feel a noticeable decrease in pain levels after six weeks, and that was the case with Burnie, who returned to Dr. Grana after about a month for a booster.

Burnie Herring opted for stem cell therapy to regenerate her arthritic knee and could not be happier with the results.

Burnie Herring

“I was already starting to feel a little better when I went in for the booster shot, and after that, I really began to notice a difference!” Burnie exclaims. “Ever since then, my knee has just continued to feel better and better.

“It’s really remarkable the difference the stem cell treatment has made. I can walk about a mile or more without any problem, which is good because my cardiologist wants me to get out and walk more. I’m really glad I chose to do this, and I would do it again in a minute if I had to. In fact, I might do it again.

“My untreated knee causes me some problems now and then. It’s not yet to the point where I feel as if I need to do anything about it, but if it ever gets there, I know exactly where to go, who to see and what to have done about it.”

Burnie says one of the things that made the entire experience so good was the personal care she received from Dr. Grana, whom she describes as very knowledgeable, caring and informative.

“He was very thorough and did a great job of explaining everything,” Burnie recalls. “I read up a lot on stem cell therapy before I went to see Dr. Grana, so I knew what it was all about, but after talking to him, I was convinced this was the right thing to do.

“Dr. Grana and his staff were just great. They’re really good people, and I’ve already told a couple of my friends about him. I told them that stem cell therapy is the way to go and that Dr. Grana is the doctor to see to get it done.”

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