Last week I taught my first class about Stem Cell, Amniotic Allografts and Platelet Rich Plasma. I’m the first to admit that I geek out when I learn about new treatments that might help my patients, and I was so excited to share what I knew.
The room was a mix of people. Some patients I knew: a handful of strangers who found out about our class on Facebook; people who had been following our transformation into Choice Restorative Medicine, or those on behalf of other people they cared about, like their husband at home, whose knee arthritis was so bad that they didn’t feel like coming out.
We see so many people every year with arthritis in their knees and hips, and degenerated discs in their spine. Most of these people have tried using NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve) or getting shots of cortisone. Most of them have never been taught that even though we use things like NSAIDs and Cortisone, and steroids for back and neck pain, arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis, these chemicals actually make the problem worse faster by creating more arthritis and accelerating the path to joint replacement.
Mind you, those things are humane. No one likes to see someone suffering. And your medical doctors’ job is to handle the symptoms. So if they use a treatment and the symptoms get better, then that’s a success.
But it’s not a success for the human being who’s walking around on a bad body part, limiting their activity, stressing out their other body parts that typically pick up the slack and compensate for the part that just can’t work properly. No, a lot of these patients are told that they’re not ready for surgery yet. Yet? How about never?
And, sometimes, I honestly feel like I’m the crazy one when I suggest that there might be a better way. A way that uses no drugs and restores function. Because, who doesn’t want to be able to do what they want to do? I want to be running an Ironman in my retirement years and hiking my dogs in the woods until I drop dead. Maybe I’ll make it if I take care of myself properly. What is it that you want to keep doing?
The questions were insightful. What is the success rate of stem cell or Platelet Rich Plasma? (About 90%)
Does insurance cover it? (No, but it costs less than the out of pocket costs of joint replacement)
What is the “down time?” (Usually, none – but you might be sore for a day)
How do you know what’s best for you? (The exam and your health history help the doctor make a recommendation)
The best part? Knowing I’d done my part to help people know their options. Helping to keep people off drugs and off of the surgical tables;keeping people moving and having fun, and making friends with a couple of new people. I’ll have classes probably forever now, but I owe that first group a special thank you for breaking me in.
Until Next Time… Be Well!