Here’s A Nonsurgical Solution For Knee Pain

Regenerative medicine relieves aching joints without scalpels, steroids or addictive meds.

Regenerative medicine injections have allowed Kathryn to resume her active lifestyle.

By the midway point of her sophomore season, Montclair State University point guard Kathryn Lamastra was playing the best basketball of her career. She was running the offense effectively, defending responsibly and shooting accurately.

Unfortunately, in the time it took to complete a layup, Kathryn’s career was snuffed out.

“That’s the irony of it all,” Kathryn laments. “We were warming up for practice, and all I did was go up for a layup, which I had done a thousand times before. When I came down, though, I tore the ACL and the meniscus in my left knee.”

The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, stabilizes the knee by keeping the shinbone (tibia) from moving forward past the thighbone (femur). The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and thighbone.

Tears in those components often require surgery, which is followed by weeks, if not months, of rehabilitation. As Kathryn learned, surgery and rehabilitation don’t guarantee the knee will always function properly or feel right again.

Though she eventually returned to the basketball court, Kathryn was forced to undergo two subsequent knee surgeries. As a result, her playing days gave way to a brief small-college coaching career.

Kathryn, 31, has moved on from coaching, but for several years she struggled to move on from the pain that her knee surgeries failed to alleviate.

“Normal daily tasks that most people don’t even think about before they do them, I had to think about,” Kathryn explains. “I’m talking about things like going for a walk, walking up and down a flight of stairs, or just getting up out of a chair or off a couch.

“Riding a bike was another, and that’s a tough one for me because I love outdoor activities like that. I’m also a gym rat, but just about anything I did at the gym or at home caused my knee to ache or throb.

“It was so bad that it sometimes kept me up at night, and one of the worst parts was that it turned me into an ibuprofen taker in multiple forms. I was having to self-medicate, but not in a good way.”

In 2013, following her third surgery, Kathryn took another approach to healing by receiving injections into her knee of platelet rich plasma, or PRP, a blood derivative that includes healing and regenerative growth factors.

The annual injections lessened the pain and provided improved function, but their effects wore off after a few months, and by last year, Kathryn had grown tired of receiving the shots and began looking for a more permanent fix.

State-of-the-Art Treatment

She found it at QC Kinetix, a local practice with a national reputation that offers concierge-level, drug-free, nonsurgical pain management and state-of-the-art regenerative medicine treatments for soft tissue pain, joint pain and musculoskeletal conditions.

As an alternative to surgeries and addictive medications, QC Kinetix treatments trigger the body’s ability to repair itself from the inside out using each patient’s own healing properties, which are found in their blood.

The blood is gathered during a typical blood draw and placed in a centrifuge, where healing properties are separated and extracted. The healing properties are then reinjected into the patient’s damaged tissue or joint. The injection sparks a tissue regeneration that allows the body to rebuild itself over a few weeks or months.

“Regenerative medicine is a great alternative for many people who thought surgery was their only option,” says Daniel Sucherman, MD, medical director of QC Kinetix Suncoast, which has locations in Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Brandon.

After years as a key member of an orthopedic surgical team, Dr. Sucherman recognized the need for a better way to help people in pain. As a believer in regenerative medicine and the positive impact it can have, he chose to meet that need through QC Kinetix.

“I’m an anesthesiologist, primarily for orthopedic surgery, and I know that people who go to an orthopedic surgeon for pain are commonly told they need surgery,” he explains. “And believe me, surgery has its place. But surgery is very strenuous on the body. It involves a lot of cutting, drilling, sawing and hammering, and the recovery process is very arduous.

“What many don’t realize is that in many cases there is an alternative. That’s why I became involved with QC Kinetix. I want to offer people an alternative to surgery, pain medications or steroids for their joint pain. That is exactly what QC Kinetix and its regenerative medicine treatments do.”

Though regenerative medicine is on the leading edge of medical science, it is not a new concept; the most basic principles have been practiced for years. At QC Kinetix, the process has been updated to make it as effective as possible. For example, QC Kinetix uses leading-edge equipment that allows for the retrieval of the most useful healing factors from blood. It can also obtain healing factors from bone marrow.

QC Kinetix works with patients across multiple visits, providing various types of drug-free injections that are customized for each case. Symptom improvement is then monitored for several months while patients experience no downtime. Most patients complete their treatments within six months and go on to live pain-free lives.

“Another thing that sets QC Kinetix apart is that we do all of this in-house,” Dr. Sucherman points out. “Your blood, your tissue never leave our office. And we do all this work while you’re there. When we’re done, you simply go about your normal activities.”

Regenerative medicine can be used to treat arthritis, or muscle or tendon tears almost anywhere in the body, including the knees and shoulders, ankles and wrists, hips, low back and neck. That made QC Kinetix an
excellent choice for Kathryn.

Feeling the Difference

Kathryn Lamastra

When Kathryn first visited the practice a year ago, she was facing the possibility of another surgery to replace her meniscus. She wanted nothing to do with that, so she agreed to the treatment plan offered by QC Kinetix. She’s glad she did.

“I received seven injections over the course of six months from QC Kinetix, and they told me it could possibly take six to 12 months for me to fully feel the effects,” Kathryn reports. “But after just three months, I was already starting to feel a difference.

“What I noticed first was that it didn’t hurt my knee to go up and down a flight of stairs, and I could actually walk for more than a half-mile without my knee beginning to throb. Since then, it’s become better and better.”

Kathryn now takes regular walks of more than three miles, rides her bike comfortably and works out several days a week at a gym, where she recently began doing squats and leg presses with weights.

She hasn’t returned to the basketball court yet but says her knee feels well enough that she would accept an invitation to play. Before visiting QC Kinetix, she would have passed.

“If someone were to ask me right now to go out and shoot around a little bit, my first reaction would not be no,” Kathryn confirms. “And that’s all thanks to the fantastic work they’ve done for me at QC Kinetix.

“I can’t say enough good things about them, and I want to add that every time I went there I got a real good family vibe from everybody. They’re always very welcoming and warm, and that makes you feel good. I highly recommend them.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

 

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    • QC Kinetix

      Regenerative medicine utilizes your body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat different medical conditions. At QC Kinetix, they use a variety of alternative pain treatments for pain arising from osteoarthritis, back pain, knee injuries, and o... Read More

    • Daniel Sucherman, MD

      Daniel Sucherman, MD, completed his premedical, medical school and residency at the prestigious Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After spending many years as a key part of an orthopedic surgical team, Dr. Sucherman ... Read More