Skip Hip Replacement With Stem Cell Therapy

Facing surgery for arthritic joints? Learn about the option of regenerative medicine.

With zero pain in her left hip, Karen is back to golfing at a tournament level.

In the early 1990s, Karen Chapdelaine applied for employment at Polk Community College (now Polk State College) in Winter Haven. She was hired as a temp to assist in updating some of the school’s outdated computer software. From there, one thing led to another.

“Once I was on board at the college, I quickly advanced into supervisory positions in admissions and records,” recounts Karen, 68. “Then, in 2001, I transferred to Indian River State College and went on to serve as registrar for 15 years.

“Indian River State College is an amazing school. It makes a huge impact in our community. I loved everything about my job there, including the faculty, staff and students. It was a very rewarding experience.”

Karen retired in 2016 and spends her days enjoying life with her husband on Florida’s Treasure Coast. She’s always been active; she especially likes to hike, jog, golf and garden. But last year, a chronic condition became disabling and put a halt to her favorite pastimes.

“I retired at 62 because my mom’s health was failing, and my sister and I took turns taking care of her,” Karen recounts. “During that time, I went from being very active to being very sedentary, and arthritis set in, specifically in my left hip.

“Over time, the arthritis became crippling. It became so debilitating that when I walked across a room I had to stop, hold on to something and catch myself. It totally limited me getting around the house.

“At different times the pain was sharp, aching and stabbing. It was an eight or nine on a scale of one to 10. I was in continual pain, and my mobility was rapidly declining. I couldn’t do any of the activities I wanted to do. My hip finally got so bad that I started seeking treatment options.”

Karen tried chiropractic care, which provided short-lived relief. She also visited an orthopedic specialist, who immediately told her she needed a hip replacement.

“I began the process and went through the surgical prescreening because I thought surgery was my only option,” Karen remembers. “Then, in the span of three weeks, my chiropractor, eye doctor and neighbor all said, You might want to try stem cell therapy. I thought, This is a signal that I should try it. I wasn’t looking forward to getting a new hip anyway.”

After doing research, Karen discovered that Regenerative Biologics Institute (RBI) in Vero Beach offers stem cell injections for arthritis. She made an appointment and met with Jason Griffeth, MS, a regenerative medicine scientist at RBI.

“Ms. Chapdelaine rated her hip pain as severe to extreme,” Jason reports. “She could barely walk across a room without intense discomfort and was told she needed a hip replacement, but she didn’t want surgery. She was seeking an alternative, which we provide.”

Proprietary Therapies

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

“We offer these regenerative therapies as an alternative to surgery,” Jason states. “For patients with severe arthritis facing joint replacement, we recommend TruGenta® Injection Therapy. Ms. Chapdelaine fell into that category, so we recommended this therapy for her.”

Patients with severe arthritis have little cartilage remaining in their joints. Typically, the cartilage has degenerated over time due to wear and tear. 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.

“I got the stem cells in April and was playing golf at a tournament in October.” – Karen

“TruGenta therapy uses mesenchymal stem cells retrieved from the patient,” he explains. “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 multiply. As the joint space gets crowded, those cells begin to fuse 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 and can even harm the joint,” Jason contends. “TruGenta therapy and our other regenerative therapies treat the underlying cause of pain, which results in lasting relief.”

In addition to TruGenta, RBI offers other regenerative therapies for various stages of arthritis.

“For early stages of arthritis, we recommend PlateletPro PRP Therapy,” Jason relates. “This therapy uses PRP that we’ve optimized for healing. We’ve improved the process of extracting the healing properties from blood and then minimizing factors that have no impact on healing, such as white and red blood cells.

“PlateletPro PRP has been shown in studies to delay the need for joint replacement.”

For moderate arthritis, RBI offers GFX Injection Therapy. This 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.

“All of RBI’s regenerative therapies renew the health of arthritic joints, restore function and allow patients such as Karen to avoid or delay major surgery, including joint replacement.”

“It’s Miraculous”

After visiting the staff at RBI, Karen canceled her hip replacement and scheduled TruGenta therapy. She received an initial injection of stem cells and PRP, and has since received two PRP booster injections, roughly six months apart. She’s extremely happy with the results.

“Stem cells take time to regenerate and grow new tissue, so I took it easy for the first month or so,” Karen reports. “Within two months, though, I felt definite pain relief. Within three months, I was starting to move around normally again. Within six months, about the time I was ready for my first booster, I was already feeling 80 to 90 percent better.

“At that point, I was doing really well and was back to doing what I wanted to do. I got the stem cells in April and was playing golf at a tournament in October.

“Today, I have zero pain in my hip. I feel really good and have no limitations. I can hike, golf, mow the lawn and more. It’s miraculous because I had become totally disabled. I couldn’t function without intense pain.”

Karen is thrilled with her outcome. She’s also impressed with Jason’s expertise and empathetic manner.

“Jason was very thorough. And he was very conscientious about making sure I had exhausted my options and really wanted to pursue stem cell therapy,” Karen raves. “I really appreciate his honesty, professionalism and sincerity. He’s absolutely devoted to this process and really knows his stuff.

“I’ve recommended RBI and its stem cell injections to many of my friends in pain.”

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