It’s a never-ending pain, sometimes dull, sometimes sharp, accompanied by stiffness and loss of mobility. New numbers show that one out of 12 adults over the age of 25 will have a knee replacement sometime during their lifetime.
One new treatment is hoping to delay a replacement and take the pain away.
Al Perez has been teeing up and teeing off for more than half his life. But, his game started to suffer.
“Walking became difficult because I got some swelling and pain.” Perez said.
Al had his right knee replaced eight years ago and he didn’t want a repeat procedure on his left.
“I have some arthritis in that knee, osteoarthritis, and I wanted to avoid at all costs another knee replacement.” Perez said.
Perez found orthopedic surgeon Jason Dragoo at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic. Dragoo was part of a team that made STEM cell history.
“It set off this revolution worldwide of getting STEM cells from the fat pad.
“We process them in the operating room and then give them back to patients during the same surgical procedures.” Dr. Dragoo said.
The best candidate is someone with moderate to middle stage arthritis. Initial studies show that the treatment reduces pain and inflammation. Now, they are looking to see if the cartilage regrows.
It worked for Al. He’s four years post-surgery and the pain is gone.
“Within three, four days. I was walking with barely a limp. I was good. I can walk 18 holes.” Perez said.