Can stem cells heal a complete knee ACL tear injury? We’ve already reported on patients where we were able to fix high grade ACL tears with just an injection of stem cells. This looks like another such patient. LW is a 43 year old woman seen in April by Dr. Hanson for a 1 month old knee injury that occurred while playing tennis. She stopped short suddenly and felt a pop in the knee and was able to continue playing until the knee finally gave way later in the game. Her MRI (above on the left) showed a grade 3 complete ACL tear and also had a tear in her MCL. Dr. Hanson performed a diagnostic needle arthroscopy (a new technology that allows us to see down the end of a needle rather than a traditional much bigger and more invasive arthroscope). This study procedure proved that despite her MRI showing what looked like a complete tear (the white line seen at the yellow arrow that cuts across the ACL), that the fibers of the knee ACL ligament were mostly intact. As a result, Dr. Hanson performed an x-ray guided Regenexx-SD stem cell injection on 4/12/12. Based on the imaging above, the ACL is healing nicely. The image on the right clearly shows that the white tear line present in the MRI on the left (yellow dashed circle) isn’t present in the MRI on the right. In fact, these images aren’t the best comparisons (the coronal slices look better), so we’re getting more sagittal MRI slices through the middle in a second follow-up MRI. How is she feeling? Here is some of her report (it was lengthy):
“By 6 weeks post procedure: I was able to walk unbraced, full weight bearing, no instability. Range of motion was in the 70% range. I was able to straighten to a few inches off the floor if sitting down, I was not able to get into a full squat or sit fully on my feet. I began walking 3-5 miles daily, no swelling, and no instability, there were some sharp pains here and there in the front of the knee to the right bottom of knee cap (toward the inner knee).
Currently @ 4.5 months out:
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.…