Can we help a patient with radial nerve palsy due to a humerus fracture get back function by using sophisticated nerve imaging and injections to break up scar tissue around the nerve and provide healing growth factors? I’ve blogged on this before and I’ve tried to be a bit reserved, but I’ve seen patients who were told they likely had permanent nerve injury respond to this procedure. Jen Pauls, a patient with a radial nerve injury, literally grabbed me in the hallway of our practice to show me her hand, which I thought was so impressive I used my phone to take a video. Rather than tell her story from a medical case study standpoint, I’ll let her tell it [I have used these square brackets to indicate where I jumped in to provide some clarity].
“Hi, my name is Jennifer Pauls. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and my experience with Centeno-Shultz Clinic.
On April 19th , I suffered a very bad accident that resulted in breaking my humerus. That would not have been so bad, except at the time of the break, I suffered complete loss of [use of] my right hand, wrist, and fingers. I was very scared and I was in so much pain I was in shock. I didn’t know what was going on. I went by ambulance to a very reputable hospital, where I stayed the night. I was given a great deal of pain medication. The next day, I was told I had radial nerve palsy that was caused by the trauma of a fracture to my humerus. It was not explained to me what that meant. All I knew is my right hand, wrist, and fingers would not do anything my brain was telling them to do. My wrist was dropped and would not lift up, my fingers were paralyzed…….It was like my whole hand and wrist were a “noodle”. I was in so much pain…….pain I had never experienced, which I later learned was nerve pain. The next day, I was put in a soft cast and sent home. I was given an appointment to see the trauma surgeon,whom I never met or saw while I was in the hospital, in about 4-6 days. Meanwhile I was sent home with pain medication. The next few days were a complete blur…….I slept a great deal. My husband says I cried nightly in the middle of the night because the pain was so bad. My husband and I met with the trauma surgeon several days later and he explained that I have radial nerve palsy and that there is no device or technology to see where or what condition the nerve was in………..it could be severed, it could be stretched, it could be trapped between the break. The only way he would know the condition of the nerve would be if he actually saw it……….in other words cut me open. He told us that a humerus fracture normally heals on its own and does not require surgery to insert a plate and screws, but in my case there was no way to know the condition of the nerve. He also explained that the scar would be very large and not very pretty. He told us “it was our decision and to go home and do some research”. He said we had 24 hours to let him know what we decided. Everything we read scared us. We learned that if the nerve was between the break and the break healed and trapped the nerve my arm would have to be amputated. We called him and said and wanted to opt for the surgery. We had called other doctors and they also told us that there was no way to see “a nerve”. I had the surgery. The trauma surgeon told me it could be a year to two years before my hand and wrist would work. He said that they could always do another surgery to re-route all my tendons in my wrist to my fingers to make them possibly work. When we met with him days after the surgery his exact words were, “Well, I hope your hand works again someday”. The days that followed the surgery were full of hopelessness. We had to hire in home care to help feed me, wash my hair and take care of my everyday needs. My husband says I woke up every night in the middle of the night in so much pain I sobbed. He felt helpless. He wanted so bad to make the pain go away. My husband started doing some research after his mother told him about a very dear friend that suffered a stroke and that she had stem-cell therapy and it was amazing how much it helped. After calling another center in California which told us they were not interested in my case, he found Centeno-Schultz clinic…………and the best part was the clinic was right in or backyard. We live in Denver and it was in Broomfield (only about 30-40 minutes away). I went to the website and filled out the appropriate questionnaire and waited, patiently. I really didn’t think I would be a candidate. I did not allow myself to get my hopes up, especially after the clinic in California rejected me. About a week later I got a call from a very kind woman from Centeno-Schultz, her name was Jane Nick. She told me she believed Dr. Hanson would be interested in speaking to me and she helped me make an appointment to meet with Dr. Hanson. I was excited, but still did not want to get my hopes up. My husband and I met with Dr. Hanson about two weeks later. We did not have any expectations…….we were just happy we had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Hanson. From the moment we met him we felt embraced. He had such a calm, caring way. We felt relaxed. He was “angelic”. His wonderful smile and relaxed confidence…………..not a bit of arrogance was an unexpected surprise. We felt “grace”. He asked us some questions and took a look at my whole arm, wrist and fingers. At this time, I had a very elaborate brace that Steadman Hawkins had built for me out of a book. It looked something like a crossbow attached to my hand and wrist. I felt like a “freak” everywhere we went………..nobody had ever seen anything like it. Dr. Hanson then used an ultrasound machine where he looked at my nerve. We were in absolute disbelief……….we had been told that there was no way to see a nerve. He was looking at my nerve! Then, Dr. Hanson said, “I believe I can help you”. My husband started to cry. For the first time, my husband and I had hope. [Dr. Hanson used ultrasound imaging to see the nerve, which can easily be seen on this technology].
Since Dr. Hanson (Centeno- Schultz clinic) and stem cell therapy (I have had only four treatments ) [Jen had nerve hrdrodissection using ultrasound with our advanced platelet lysate mixture that delivers healing growth factors to the nerve.] ………less than 6 months later I have full use of my wrist and hand. My trauma surgeon, along with Steadman Hawkins told me that it would take a year to two to have recovery…….and that most likely I would need tendon surgery. After the first treatment with Centeno- Shultz clinic the nerve pain was gone in my bicep within an hour of the treatment [This immediate effect was likely caused by the fluid breaking up the scarring that was trapping the nerve.] The second treatment relieved all pain in my forearm. I had minimal nerve pain. After the third treatment within a few weeks I was not able to start doing normal activities without the brace. A few weeks later ……..I no longer had to wear that embarrassing brace. I was able to function again! My son, Maxwell (15) was very affected by my trauma and he was able to watch the procedures right in Centeno-Schultz clinic. I am forever grateful to Dr. Hanson and Centeno-Schultz for their research and knowledge. I would like to be an example to help others with nerve damage. I would like to be give hope along with Dr. Hanson and Centeno-Schultz clinic to others that have nerve damage. Dr. Hanson is very grateful that he can help other patients regain/restore their ability to normal life function. Dr. Hanson has a God-given gift and a great deal of knowledge and experience of nerves along with years of experience! He is very passionate about helping people in pain. He feels very honored to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Centeno and Dr. Schultz to “make a difference for many people in chronic pain”. Not every orthopedic doctor can “see” and” access nerves”. He showed me and my husband humbleness and confidence in knowing he could make a difference for me. My hope is that Dr. Hanson,Centeno and Shultz can continue to help so many other people as they have helped me! If we would have found Dr. Hanson at the time of the accident (before surgery)…….I would not have a big, ugly scar on my right arm. Dr. Hanson is continuing to help my scar tissue and the appearance of the scar as well. I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Centeno. He was also a very kind, compassionate, caring doctor. The whole team at Centeno-Schultz clinic is making a difference everyday………….just like they have done for me! God Bless Dr. Hanson, Dr. Centeno, Dr. Schultz, and all of their staff!!! Every person I have met at Centeno-Schultz loves their job!
Jennifer (Jen) Pauls”
About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…