Spared from Surgery

Regenerative technique restores arthritic knees.

While playing tennis two years ago, Stuart Hamilton reached up for an overhead shot. As he did, he awkwardly twisted his left knee and damaged its already degenerating meniscus, which is the crescent-shaped pad of cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee joint.

Regenerative Biologics Institute’s TruGenta™ Injection Therapy used stem cells and PRP to regenerate Stuart Hamilton’s knees. RBI is in Vero Beach.

“Now, I feel like a million bucks. . . . My knees are one hundred percent better. There’s no pain. It’s a pleasure to walk around without knee pain.” – Stuart

Nine years earlier, Stuart had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The tennis injury left him with identical knees. Both were arthritic and painful.

“Most of the time, it was a constant, nagging pain, so every time I sat down, I rubbed my knees,” the Cincinnati, Ohio native and retired health care electronics business owner says. “Sometimes, it was quite painful, and I tried everything to ease the discomfort.

“The only thing that helped at all was an arthritis pain relief cream, but the pain just wouldn’t go away. When I got out of bed in the morning, I had to stand up for a minute and let my knees get together before I could even start heading out for my day in the sandbox.

“I never stopped playing tennis. I just endured the pain. But there was a time when my knees were so painful, I wasn’t very good on the tennis court. I mostly hobbled around, so I wasn’t much fun to play with.”

While Stuart’s right knee continued to ache, the surgery on that knee stabilized it somewhat. But the incident on the tennis court initiated a two-year search for pain relief that nearly ended in major surgery on his left knee.

“I tried the lubricating shots in that knee a couple of times, but they didn’t work,” he recounts. “Then, I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who gave me a cortisone shot in my left knee.

“That worked well, and the relief it provided lasted about a year. But it was a temporary shot, and every time I went to the orthopedic doctor, he said, You’re my next victim for a knee replacement.

“A friend of mine had that surgery, and I watched him go through a lot of discomfort. I thought, I don’t want to go through that if I don’t have to. A guy I play tennis with told me his wife had stem cell therapy and got amazing results.

“She couldn’t even get up the stairs in her condo, but two weeks after getting the therapy, she was running up the stairs. After hearing about that, I started looking into stem cell therapy and found Regenerative Biologics Institute [RBI] in Vero Beach.”

At RBI, Stuart met with Jason Griffeth, MS, clinical director and stem cell scientist. Jason and the other regenerative medicine specialists at RBI have spent ten years optimizing the Institute’s unique treatment protocol, TruGenta Injection Therapy.

“TruGenta is a proprietary formulation of the highest-quality stem cells, platelets and other bioactive growth factors,” Jason explains. “The cells and growth factors work together to stimulate healing in an arthritic or injured joint. It’s an excellent nonsurgical treatment option for people with
degenerating joints, such as Stuart.”

“I went to RBI, talked to Jason and watched the treatment video,” Stuart relates. “The whole thing sounded logical, and I thought, Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Maximizing the Long-Term Effects

Jason remembers Stuart’s condition when he arrived at RBI. He describes Stuart as experiencing significant pain due to degenerative osteoarthritis in his knees and facing joint replacement surgery. Jason and his colleagues at RBI elected to treat Stuart with TruGenta Injection Therapy.

“Our goal with TruGenta is to treat patients like Stuart with the highest-possible quantity of mesenchymal stem cells,” Jason informs. “Those are the soft-tissue-forming, healing cells of the body.

“We isolate millions of those cells, harvested from the fat of the abdomen or flanks, combine them with platelet-rich plasma [PRP] from the patient’s blood and directly inject them into the area of need with real-time ultrasound guidance.

“This combination gives patients with degenerative arthritis the best chance at a long-term regenerative effect. There are therapies on the market that can produce an anti-inflammatory effect, but with TruGenta, we maximize the regenerative effect by using these high quantities of mesenchymal stem cells.”

Mesenchymal stem cells work in several steps, Jason explains. Once injected into the area of need, such as a knee joint, they adhere to the local tissues and bones then begin to replicate. They then begin to crowd the area and start to fuse, and can form new tissue. Adding the PRP and bioactive growth factors further stimulates the mesenchymal stem cells to grow within the joints.

“These stem cells are also highly anti-inflammatory by nature, so they substantially reduce inflammation and pain,” Jason observes. “They also release many therapeutic proteins, including those that recruit other stem cells from around the body to the area injected. Some of those proteins generate a new blood supply, which aids in healing.

“Mesenchymal stem cells are very smart and are naturally programmed to heal and repair tissue. That’s why we place high concentrations of them into areas of injury or degeneration with precision using real-time ultrasound guidance.”

RBI has recently launched a new therapy that’s a variation of TruGenta Injection Therapy called TruGenta PTM Therapy. PTM therapy combines the TruGenta formulation, which uses living stem cells from patients’ bodies, with placenta-derived growth factors in the form of extracellular matrix growth factors.

“These growth factors help provide structural support to the cells in the area we inject,” Jason educates. “They also recruit other stem cells from around the body to the area of need. We’re hoping that TruGenta PTM Therapy will help even better to form new tissue in patients with severely degenerated joints, such as those that are bone-on-bone.”

Order on the Court

In an effort to decrease the inflammation and swelling in Stuart’s knees, Jason recommended he not play tennis for at least a week prior to receiving the TruGenta Injection Therapy, which Stuart described as quick and painless.

“On July sixteenth last summer, I walked into RBI,” Stuart recounts. “Two hours later, I walked out, and the entire process was completed using stem cells from the fat in my flanks and
platelet-rich plasma from my blood.

“It was comforting to know there was nothing foreign going into my body, and the process was virtually painless. I had the therapy on both knees and started feeling pain relief right away, so I started playing tennis again.

“But I think the most telling time is when I get up out of bed in the morning. That’s when my knees used to ache a lot. Now, there’s no pain whatsoever. Now, I feel like a million bucks. I just walked two miles this morning, and I felt fabulous. My knees are one hundred percent better. There’s no pain. It’s a pleasure to walk around without knee pain.”

At his tennis club, Stuart calls himself the “stem cell flower boy.” He says many people have come up to him asking about his experience with stem cell therapy. They also inquire about the treatment process and recovery, and where he had his therapy performed.

“I gave the gal behind the desk all the information about stem cell therapy and RBI, and she gives it out to members who ask about it,” Stuart states. “I promote RBI and TruGenta Injection Therapy to the best of my ability down there.

“If anybody asks me about RBI or stem cell therapy, I say they’re great,” he enthuses. “The staff is very professional and efficient, and I think TruGenta Injection Therapy is the way to go. It certainly worked for me. It was fabulous!”   

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