Knees in Need?

Regenerative therapy relieves unbearable joint pain without hassle of surgery.

Since she retired from her job as an administrative assistant 19 years ago, Joyce Sampson has been traveling the seven seas with her husband. Well, not all seven just yet, but they have knocked a few off their bucket list.

“Before COVID-19 hit, we were doing a lot of cruising,” Joyce elaborates. “We’ve been to Mexico, Alaska and Nassau, and we’ve made a lot of new friends along the way. We can’t wait to get back to that because we really enjoy it.”

Joyce, 77, and her husband love traveling so much that they’ve spent the last year on day trips to places such as Orlando, Jacksonville and Georgia with members of a travel club they joined.

“On a lot of those trips, we go to different shows and things,” Joyce adds. “In Jacksonville, for example, we saw a Barbra Streisand impersonator. She was a phenomenal singer. She sounded just like Barbra Streisand, which is not easy to do.”

Earlier this year, Joyce spent about a month singing the blues after she twisted her right knee while getting out of her car. At first, the pain from the injury was “just annoying,” Joyce relates. In short order, though, it became aggravating.

“I thought it would go away and get better after a week or so, but three weeks passed and that didn’t happen,” Joyce notes. “In fact, instead of getting better, the pain was getting worse, to the point where it was making it very difficult to walk.

“I started to worry that at some point my knee might give out on me and cause me to fall. That would only compound the problem, so I decided that I’d better have someone take a look at it to find out what the real problem was.

A friend in her community asked Joyce whether she considered going to a chiropractor.

“It’s a one-and-done, in-office procedure that takes about 15 minutes to complete and needs no anesthesia.” – Dr. Steflik

“I had to admit that I hadn’t,” Joyce recalls, “and my friend said, Why don’t you give it a try? That’s how I ended up at Coastal Integrative Healthcare.”

In addition to providing standard and advanced chiropractic care, Coastal Integrative Healthcare specializes in the treatment of pain stemming from injury, arthritis and nerve damage. It also offers aesthetic treatments and weight-loss solutions.

Acting on the advice of her friend, Joyce hobbled into the practice about a month after twisting her knee. During her initial visit, she was given a thorough examination that included x-rays.

“I think it was pretty obvious to them that my knee was a mess, because they made an appointment with me to come back the very next day,” Joyce remembers. “When I came back, they explained what had happened and why my knee was hurting so much.

“They said the good news was that the meniscus wasn’t torn, but it was somehow being flattened out and was taking away from the cushioning in the knee. That’s why I was feeling so much pain.”

The meniscus is cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the knee joint.

“There was some other damage in there as well from when I twisted it, but the bigger concern was the lack of cushioning in the knee,” Joyce says. “They said one way to fix that was through regenerative therapy, and they asked if I might be interested in trying that.”

Body’s Building Blocks

Stem cells are the foundation cells that grow body tissue. When stem cells are injected into damaged tissue, they support the natural healing process by regenerating that tissue and stimulating the body’s repair mechanisms.

Many in the medical community, including those at the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, consider stem cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, the future of medicine. Timothy Steflik, DC, of Coastal Integrative Healthcare is right there with them.

“Regenerative medicine is definitely on the leading edge of medical technology,” Dr. Steflik educates. “It’s a great alternative to surgery because it regenerates the body instead of trying to fix it or cover up a problem with surgery. The real beauty of it is that it’s a one-and-done, in-office procedure that takes about 15 minutes to complete and needs no anesthesia. It’s a simple injection of the cells that are cryopreserved in our office.

“For some patients, we administer the injection using color ultrasound to help guide us. We do that because we need to be very specific where the cells are placed. Once the cells are injected, patients need time to heal, but they can return to normal activities right away.”

Regenerative therapy can be used to treat arthritis, muscle or tendon tears, even peripheral neuropathy, almost anywhere in the body, including knees and shoulders, ankles and wrists, hips, back and neck, Dr. Steflik details.

Not all patients are good candidates for regenerative medicine. For example, patients with a complete tear of their rotator cuff would be encouraged to first try other options.

Avoiding Surgery

Eager to put the issue with her knee behind her, Joyce listened intently as Dr. Steflik explained the benefits of regenerative medicine and how the procedure would be done. When he was finished, she agreed it was her best option for treatment.

“My husband was right there with me the entire time, and when I said I wanted to get this done, he said, It’s your knee, so it’s your decision,” Joyce recalls. “So I agreed to get the injection, and I am very happy with that decision.

“I knew from listening to Dr. Steflik that regenerative medicine injections would not take the pain away overnight, that I needed to be patient, but I can tell you it is definitely working. My knee feels at least 90 percent better now than when I first went to see them.

“When I first went to Coastal Integrative Healthcare, I could barely put any weight on my right leg, so I was limping pretty badly. Now, I’m doing physical therapy on a regular basis, and I feel like my old self again.

“I was really scared that I might need surgery to get rid of this problem, and I didn’t want that at all. I’m so glad I found Coastal Integrative Healthcare and they suggested regenerative therapy. It’s worked out great, and it was so simple; just a little shot and that was it.

“Yes, I’ve had to rehab my leg, but I was going to need to do that no matter what. And I like that I can do that at Coastal Integrative Healthcare. It’s a very comfortable setting, and if I ever have to reschedule an appointment, they’re always very accommodating. There’s no pressure or anything, and everyone there is so nice and helpful. Just like my friend did with me, I’d recommend them to anybody.”

Back on Course

While growing up in little Wolverine, Michigan, Linda Burr came to appreciate the routine that played out each Sunday during the summertime. She would regularly get up early and go to church, then spend the rest of the day water skiing on a nearby lake.

 Linda Burr running down a road

Stem cell therapy has Linda up and
running again

The routine changed only slightly in the winter, when Linda, her family and friends would simply exchange their water skis and swimsuits for snow skis and ski suits and spend the afternoon skiing at a nearby resort.

“As a teenager, I worked in the deli bar at Thunder Mountain,” Linda explains. “That allowed me to ski for free, so I went skiing a lot. One winter, I suffered a nasty fall and had to have surgery on my left knee. I’ve had problems with that knee ever since.”

For years, Linda, 73, refused to allow those problems to interfere with her active lifestyle. About 10 years ago, though, her pain increased to a level where she had to give up jogging. Recently, those problems even forced her to stop gardening.

“As I’ve grown older, my knee has just gotten worse,” Linda offers. “About a year ago, it got really bad. So bad that I couldn’t even walk up the three steps to my mobile home without grabbing onto the rails and pulling myself up.

“I was having to take a ton of medications for it, too, which I didn’t like. At one point I was taking meloxicam, but then I started having liver problems, so I got off of that. After that, I was taking a lot of acetaminophen.

“But none of the medications really worked for me. I was still having a lot of pain and was still very unstable. I was so unstable that I actually started falling a lot because of the pain in my knee. I probably fell about 15 or 20 times.”

Linda was eventually advised to see an orthopedic surgeon.

“He started telling me that I needed to have both my knees replaced,” she groaned. “He wanted me to have one done right away and the other done three or four weeks later. When I heard that I said, Oh, no you don’t.

After moving to Florida this year, she sought another opinion with an orthopedic specialist.

“He said the same thing the other doctor said, and I said the same thing back to him that I told the other doctor,” Linda shared.

“After that, I started doing some research. I was looking for an alternative to surgery, and that’s when I found out about stem cell therapy. The more I read, the more I became interested, and I eventually read about Coastal Integrative Healthcare.”

Rapid Results

Eager to speak to a physician face-to-face about stem cell therapy, Linda made an appointment to visit Coastal Integrative Healthcare. Her initial visit was with Samantha Wunder, DC, on Feb. 15.

“Linda came in knowing a lot about stem cell therapy and knowing she didn’t want to have knee replacement surgery,” Dr. Wunder reports. “She said she had seen too many friends adversely affected by that surgery and wanted to try something else. She explained she really wanted to garden and walk again without all the pain. She told me that every time it rained, she felt a stabbing pain in her knees and that the pain was causing her to fall.”

After hearing Linda’s complaint, Dr. Wunder began with a thorough examination of Linda’s knees. That exam included x-rays, which showed that the cause of Linda’s pain was advanced osteoarthritis in both knees.

“I tell everybody about how great stem cell therapy is and how wonderful everyone is at Coastal Integrative Healthcare.” – Linda

Dr. Wunder notes that Linda’s left knee was in far worse shape than the right. Much more of the cartilage was gone from that knee, but there was enough cartilage left to allow for regenerative medicine to work should Linda opt for the treatment.

Based on her research, her desire to avoid surgery and Dr. Wunder’s recommendation, Linda opted for regenerative therapy. Within two weeks of receiving the injections, she was glad she did.

“After just two weeks, I literally had no pain in my knees at all,” Linda confirms. “I was also a lot more stable on my feet by then. Now, I’m even more stable. I’m back gardening and even running again. Well, I call it running. My daughter says, Mother, you call that running? And I’m like, You see how fast you run when you’re 73. So for me, it’s running. I think I move along pretty well, and it’s awesome that I can do that, no matter how fast I go.

“The other thing is those three steps that I take to get into the front door of my home are no longer a problem for me. I can get up those steps now using just one hand on the railing, and I don’t need to pull myself up with it.”

Linda is again doing activities she could not before, such as painting the bottom of her mobile home.

“I’m being the active person I used to be, and I’m so happy about that,” she cheers. “I’m so satisfied with the results that I tell everybody about how great stem cell therapy is and how wonderful everyone is at Coastal Integrative Healthcare.

“Dr. Wunder is amazing and her staff is exceptional. And they’re all so friendly. If I ever had any questions, they always took the time to sit down and explain the answer to me. They’re really tremendous, and I’m fortunate to have found them.”

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


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    • Coastal Integrative Healthcare

      The mission at Coastal Integrative Healthcare is to provide members of their community of Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, and Oak Hill with quality care at affordable rates. They believe everyone deserves to receive specific and customized... Read More

    • Timothy Steflik, DC

      Timothy Steflik, DC, is a licensed doctor of chiropractic who graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Florida in 2011 and now serves as the clinic director and president of Coastal Integrative Healthcare. He is an adj... Read More

    • Greg Salter, MSN, ARNP

      Greg Salter, MSN, ARNP, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Pre-Med from University of Tampa. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Bethune-Cookman College and earned his Master of Science degree in N... Read More

    • Samantha Wunder, DC

      Samantha Wunder, DC, earned her bachelor’s degree in integrative health science from Stetson University, where she minored in psychology and sports medicine and also played soccer. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer C... Read More