Joint Injection Therapy For Everyone

Nonsurgical regenerative therapy alleviates octogenarian’s arthritis pain.

Ann is back to swinging golf clubs and not using them as walking canes.

It’s nearly impossible to get a true count of the snowbirds that make Florida their winter residence, but most estimates put the number in the high six figures. At age 85, Ann Dunn is one of those migrating northerners. She spends the bulk of the year at her family homestead in Albany, New York, and the four coldest months in the Sunshine State.

Ann deserves the respite.

“I raised five children, and once I got them all in school I went to work in an allergist’s office,” recounts Ann. “I was a receptionist-office manager for 20 years. I retired in 2000.

“I really liked my job. The most wonderful patients came into our office. They were more than just patients, though. They were more like family. My patients were good to me, and I was good to them.”

Ann also cared for her mother, who lived to be 100 years old.

“My mother was a healthy woman, and so am I,” Ann shares. “I think I might live to be 100 as well, but only God knows for sure.”

One factor contributing to Ann’s vim and vigor is her regular participation in water aerobics. She’s been an instructor for nearly 45 years.

“I started after I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hips and couldn’t work out on the floor anymore,” Ann tells. “Working out in water doesn’t put pressure on your joints. I became an instructor when I was in my 40s. I still teach water aerobics during the summertime at a country club in Albany.”

Despite her zest for fitness, Ann injured her right knee 20 years ago. She remembers stepping the wrong way and immediately feeling intense pain.

“I tore the meniscus,” Ann elaborates. “My doctor said I would need a new knee if I didn’t have arthroscopic surgery, so I underwent arthroscopic surgery. But my knee still hurt. Still, I refused to get a new knee.

“I lived with that sore knee for years. The water aerobics helped with the pain. Then two years ago, my left knee began giving out on me. Severe pain would come on all of a sudden and shoot into my knee. That knee became weak, and I thought I was going to fall. The pain was a 10 on a scale of one to 10. I didn’t have a cane, so I used one of my golf clubs to help me walk.”

At the time, Ann was caring for her husband, who was recovering from a broken hip. She knew she needed treatment on her knees but couldn’t undergo surgery because she had no one to take care of her husband — or her while she recuperated. She tried getting by with visco-supplement, or gel injections, which lubricate arthritic knee joints, but they failed to provide sustained pain relief.

Then a friend told her about stem cell injections at Regenerative Biologics Institute (RBI) in Vero Beach.

“I had looked into stem cells in the past, but none of the places that offered them appealed to me,” Ann relates. “I was also a little skeptical because my husband underwent the treatment in Jupiter and didn’t receive much relief. However, I had to try something, so I went to RBI and gave stem cell injections a try.”

Healing Mixture

RBI is one of the few clinics in the country that has stem cell scientists and physicians working together to provide the best possible stem cell-based regenerative therapies for arthritic or injured joints.

“We offer alternatives to surgery, including proprietary regenerative therapies, one of which is TruGenta® Injection Therapy,” discloses Jason Griffeth, MS, a regenerative medicine scientist at RBI. “It’s excellent for bone-on-bone patients facing joint replacement, so we recommended it to Ms. Dunn.

“When she came to us, Ms. Dunn was suffering with severe arthritis in both knees; one was bone-on-bone. According to her pain scale questionnaire, which patients fill out before treatment, she was experiencing severe, constant pain.”

Patients with bone-on-bone conditions have very little cartilage remaining in their joints. Typically, the cartilage has deteriorated over time due to wear and degenerative arthritis. Jason says TruGenta Injection Therapy contains millions of regenerative cells, growth factors and healing properties that have the potential to form new tissue, including cartilage.

“TruGenta therapy uses mesenchymal stem cells retrieved from the patient,” he details. “For this therapy, we combine those stem cells with platelet rich plasma (PRP), which is taken from the patient’s blood, and inject the resulting mixture into the damaged joint using ultrasound guidance.

“To understand how it works, think of growing grass on dirt. You plant the grass seeds and then add fertilizer. That’s what we’re doing biologically. The stem cells are the seeds, which we fertilize with platelets and growth factors from the PRP. Once injected into the joint, the stem cells start to multiply. As the joint space gets crowded, those cells begin to fuse together and can form new tissue.”

The stem cells used in TruGenta Injection Therapy also release therapeutic proteins that help reduce pain and inflammation in the damaged joint. This creates an optimal environment for the therapy’s long-lasting regenerative effects.

“Traditional orthopedic treatments such as cortisone and gel injections only mask the symptoms,” Jason asserts. “TruGenta therapy and our other regenerative therapies treat the underlying cause of pain, which results in long-lasting relief.”

Other proprietary regenerative therapies at RBI include PlateletPro™ PRP Therapy, GFX™ Injection Therapy and RegenVisc™ Injection Therapy.

“PlateletPro PRP uses PRP that RBI has optimized for healing,” Jason explains. “We have improved the process of extracting the healing properties from blood and minimizing those factors that have no impact on healing, such as white and red blood cells.

“PlateletPro PRP is an excellent treatment for more acute and inflammatory conditions such as bursitis, tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. It is also effective in early stages of arthritis and has been shown in studies to delay the need for joint replacement.”

“A week after the injections, I felt significant pain relief.” – Ann

GFX Injection Therapy is a variation of PRP that combines PRP with amniotic fluid-derived growth factors.

“These growth factors help stimulate healing and repair in the joints,” Jason describes. “They also recruit other stem cells from around the body to the area that is injected. It is effective for all types of joint conditions, including early to late stages of arthritis.”

RegenVisc Injection Therapy combines hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that reduces inflammation in arthritic joints, with PRP, which adds significant healing properties to give patients long-term relief.

“We’re often asked if our regenerative therapies are effective for older patients. The answer is, Yes,” Jason continues. “We have multiple options to treat joint injuries and arthritis, including bone-on-bone arthritis, and even patients in their 70s, 80s and 90s can benefit. At 85, Ms. Dunn is a perfect example.”

“I Feel Good”

Ann received RBI’s TruGenta Injection Therapy in April 2019. Afterward, her pain level decreased from severe to mild, according to her pain scale questionnaires.

“They took fat from my stomach and extracted the stem cells from that,” she details. “Then they took my blood to get the plasma, and it worked. A week after the injections, I felt significant pain relief.

“It’s been three years since I received the stem cells, and I still have not had a knee replacement because I don’t need it. Thanks to the stem cell injections, I’m walking, playing golf, doing water aerobics and even doing some gardening, and the pain is pretty much gone. It’s not even a one on a scale of one to 10. I feel good.

“I think the world of Jason,” Ann adds. “He’s so pleasant to deal with and so encouraging. I absolutely recommend RBI and its TruGenta therapy. I highly recommend people do this before they get a new knee.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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