Stem Cells: Keep Your Knee, Lose The Pain

Regenerative medicine protocol injects a nonsurgical option into joint relief.

The first song Betty Cameron learned to play on an organ was Handel’s Messiah, and she learned it in a hurry.

For more than seven years, Betty has
reaped the pain-relieving benefits of RegenaJoint™ therapy.

She had no choice.

“The music director at church came to me one day and said he needed me to play organ for the choir,” Betty remembers. “He knew I played the piano, but I’d never played the organ before, and I told him that. He said, That’s OK, I’ll show you.

“I already knew that there is a big difference between playing the piano and an organ. Yes, they both have keys, but the organ has a lot more pedals and things, and this was a big pipe organ, so I was pretty nervous. But I learned it and played for the choir.”

It wasn’t just a one-off performance for Betty. She eventually learned hundreds of songs on the organ and spent the next 40 years playing the instrument at various churches, including 17 years at Tampa’s Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Now retired, Betty, 84, no longer plays the organ at church, but she remains quite active. With 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, it’s hard not to be. Yet, there was a time when left knee pain kept Betty irritably inactive.

“My problems probably started about 10 years ago,” Betty relates. “I also had bad sciatica at the time, and the pain from that would go all the way down into my knee, which only made the knee pain worse. It was horrible and hurt all the time.

“The worst was about seven years ago. Our family gets together every summer at Redington Beach, but that year, my knee hurt so bad that I could not walk out to the beach. Two of my grandsons picked me up and carried me out there.

“After that I started looking for some help. The first thing I did was go to an orthopedic doctor, but he said I needed a new knee. I told him I couldn’t do that because my grandson was getting married soon, and I was determined to walk down the aisle that day.”

Betty settled for a cortisone shot. When that failed to alleviate her pain, she began searching for an alternative to temporary treatment options as well as surgery. She found one at Regenerative Orthopedic Institute in Tampa.

New-Age Specialty

Regenerative Orthopedic Institute is the practice of Erick A. Grana, MD.

Dr. Grana specializes in regenerative medicine, which promotes new growth in tissue ravaged by injury or arthritis through stem cell therapy.

“Stem cell therapy treats disease and injuries by harnessing the body’s healing powers,” Dr. Grana educates. “The natural healing process occurs by combining patients’ stem cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP).

“Unlike surgery, which can result in blood loss, scarring and long, painful recovery periods, stem cell therapy requires only injections into the damaged joint. This process results in a safe and effective treatment.”

Stem cells are the most basic building blocks of all tissues and organs, and they can be collected directly from the fat or bone marrow of the patient. There are no side effects or rejection.

The procedure used in collecting the tissue is similar to a blood draw. Once the tissue has been harvested, the stem cells and PRP are isolated and injected into the painful area to spark the regeneration of damaged tissue.

Stem cell therapy can be used to treat damage in the knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists, hips, back and neck. It can also be used to treat arthritis and peripheral neuropathy almost anywhere in the body, as well as muscle and tendon tears.

At Regenerative Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Grana has developed a system for delivering stem cells and PRP into joints called RegenaJoint. He has also developed a similar system to treat the spine called RegenaSpine.

“RegenaJoint and RegenaSpine are convenient, minimally invasive procedures that are performed in my office using a local anesthetic,” Dr. Grana points out. “Patients typically resume normal activities immediately following the procedures.”

Years of Relief

Encouraged by all that she learned during her initial visit with Dr. Grana, Betty agreed to the doctor’s recommendation of a series of regenerative medicine injections. This despite the fact many of her family members were hesitant about the protocol.

“They were quite skeptical,” Betty says. “But I said, My grandson is getting married, and I am going to walk down the aisle at his wedding. I’m not going to have someone push me down the aisle in a wheelchair, so I’m going to do this.”

In treating Betty, Dr. Grana used the RegenaJoint system. Prior to delivering the injections, Dr. Grana explained that the regenerative process takes time and cautioned that Betty may not feel the full effect of the treatment for a few months.

Betty began feeling an improvement much sooner than that. After a few weeks, the pain in her left knee had diminished greatly, and she later achieved her goal of walking comfortably down the aisle at her grandson’s wedding.

Seven years later, Betty continues to reap the benefits of RegenaJoint. She says she hasn’t had a problem with the knee since the injections took hold and greatly appreciates all that Dr. Grana did for her.

“I asked Dr. Grana before I did this how long the injections would last, and he said about 10 years,” Betty recalls. “That sounded great to me, and here I am seven years later and my knee feels fine, so this was definitely the right call.

“I consider myself to be very fortunate to have found Dr. Grana. He’s an exceptional doctor, and I really appreciate that he obtains the stem cells from your own tissue. The stem cells don’t come from donor tissue, which I think is important.

“I’ve talked to other people who have told me that stem cell therapy didn’t work as well for them. I said, That’s because you didn’t go to Dr. Grana at Regenerative Orthopedic Institute. He’s the best and he does it right, so you should give him a call.

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