The Calgary Herald reported yesterday that a two time world champion steer wrestler is hoping our ankle stem cell treatment will help his ankle arthritis. Looking at the punishment his ankle is taking in the photo they printed yesterday (see above) all I can say is…”Ouch!” Article below:
Graves counts on stem cell therapy to repair ankle
Two-time world steer wrestling champion eager to return to rodeo
By Dwayne Erickson, For the Calgary Herald March 13, 2012
Calgary’s two-time world champion Lee Graves is pinning his return to the rodeo arena on a somewhat newly developed medical procedure.
It involves stem cell therapy.
Graves, 40, fractured his right ankle shortly after winning $112,000 in the 2010 Calgary Stampede steer wrestling event. Read more…
One of the things we pride ourselves on is that we discuss all of our stem cell outcomes and publish our work, which includes the patients that do great with stem cells and the patients that fail the therapy. To that end, I also blog on patients where the procedure either didn’t work or perhaps didn’t result in a permanent fix. HK is an elderly man who was featured in the blog because of the severity of his ankle arthritis and our amazement that the Regenexx-C stem cell treatment restored ankle function and dramatically reduced his pain. His x-ray is above and it doesn’t take a trained medical professional to note that he has a severe ankle problem as indicated by the amazing “hardware store” that was placed into his ankle before we first evaluated him. He was treated in Spring of 2009 and his pain relief remained robust through the end of 2011, so for about 2.5+ years. He’s now first beginning to get some return of mild aching, but he can still exercise on a treadmill and walk extensively to play golf, things he couldn’t do before. As a result, at about the three year mark after his ankle stem cell treatment, we believe that because of the severity of his disease and his preexisting ankle fusion, it’s time for a stem cell treatment update. We’ll be seeing him in the Caymans for round two of his therapy. Given that he was an end stage patient when we began and that this ankle surgery alternative gave him his life back with only an injection, we feel he did very well. Having said that, we get asked by patients all the time, “How long will this last?” HK is an example where the results are life changing, but the full effects weren’t permanent.
Can an ankle stem cell treatment help a college athlete with ankle problems? KW is 21 y/o university field and track athlete who was unable to compete due to ankle pain. She had a longstanding history of ankle sprains and had undergone high dose aspirin therapy as child due to a diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. When she was first evaluated by our clinic, her pain was a constant 5/10 in severity and located deep in the joint. Running and bending of the ankle all caused pain-which is a big problem if you’re a college track athlete. She had tried NSAID drugs (with their dangerous side effects), oral steroids (also with big side effects), and steroid and Synvisc shots into the joint (regrettably these joint injections were performed blind without any imaging guidance, so we don’t know if they actually got into the joint). Since she was getting nowhere with traditional non-surgical ankle treatment, she decided to try using her own stem cells. When we reviewed her ankle MRI, it showed degenerative changes in the main ankle joint, swelling, and sprains of two of the three main outside ankle ligaments. Our first priority was to stabilize her unstable ankle (for more info on this treatment approach, see our e-book-Orthopedics 2.0). As a result she underwent specialized injections to stabilize and strengthen the loose ankle ligaments (Regenexx-SCP into these ligaments). This was followed by a Regenexx SD stem cell injection to treat cartilage loss.
6 months after starting stem cell therapy for the ankle, Dr. Schultz received this e-mail which she has allowed us to share.
“Besides that minor flare, I have had really promising results. I understand that my body has set limitations, and I may never be permitted to run 60 miles or more a week like before, but I am just grateful that I am back on the track completing workouts with my team. I run every other day (which are “work-out” days consisting of heavy pounding on a hard track surface) and cross train on days in between. I have also began doing olympic (short reps, but heavy and explosive) weight training without any irritation. I started doing ladder speed drills and hurdles drills this week, and have noticed no pain.”
We are encouraged by KW’s results and hope to continue to help her get back to the sport she loves!
Ankle stem cell therapy? PR is a 65 year old with a one year history of an ankle problem injury by stepping off a curb. At the time, he felt severe pain on the inside of his ankle and the MRI a few months later demonstrated a swollen tendon. After being in ankle pain for about a year, he was ultimately given few treatment options outside of medications and a possible ankle fusion surgery at some point in the future. He was first seen by our clinic in November of 2010 and what jumped out on his exam was a pronated ankle caused by deltoid ligament laxity. The deltoid ligament is on the inside of the ankle and is the “duct tape” that prevents the ankle joints from collapsing inward. While everyone else was focused on his swollen tendon, a hands on exam and time spent observing the ankle showed that the ankle was pronating due to the stretched out deltoid ligament and this was pulling too hard on the tendon. This extra pulling on the tendon caused it to swell. Based on this information, the area that needed stem cell treatment wasn’t the swollen tendon, but the stretched out deltoid ligament. To complicate matters, he also presented with a pinched S1 nerve in his low back and tarsal tunnel syndrome (nerve irritation at the tibial nerve). The patient was treated with the Regenexx-SD procedure by direct injection of his own stem cells into the deltoid ligament under ultrasound guidance. He also needed additional injections to tighten the deltoid ligament so that the ankle wouldn’t collapse inward. He reports this week that initial pain relief (after nothing was working including physical therapy, bracing, and medications) was 90% which has now settled into to 70% over about a year. We’re glad to hear that PR is doing well and while not a perfect solution, stem cells gave his ankle a solution that helped him avoid an eventual ankle fusion.
Dr. Hanson will be speaking in Washington, D.C, presenting pre-publication data on the use of stem cell injections for ankle injuries such as osteochondral defects with and without chronic ligament laxity at the Tornier National Foot/Ankle Forum on June 17th and 18th. He will be presenting the data with orthopedic surgeon, Mitch Sheinkop, M.D. from Chicago. While we haven’t treated as many ankles as we have knees, we have treated about 50 cases between Regenexx-C, Regenexx-SD, and Regenexx-SCP/PRP procedures. Here are some interesting images from various ankle stem cell injection cases, including ankle AVN and a case report of the Regenexx-SCP procedure used to treat a split ankle tendon. Here’s the case of a patient with severe ankle arthritis who was looking at a fusion and reported success with a Regenexx-SD ankle stem cell injection procedure. Here’s an interesting patient where we were able to help remove an ankle bone spur with a needle rather than surgery. Finally, here’s the MRI case study of a local news woman with a hole in the ankle joint cartilage who did well with a Regenexx-C stem cell injection procedure.