Have you been following along with Joe’s Regenexx Stem Cell journey? If not, catch up on Joe’s story here!
The Regenexx Advanced Stem Cell Protocol happens over the course of 3 appointments. Joe’s treatment started on February 19th, 2016 with his prolotherapy injections. A few days later he came in for his blood work and, before he knew it, it was the evening before the stem cell reinjection.
February 24th. Stem Cell Day. Joe felt like it was the night before a big athletic event!
“I had butterflies, I was nervous. I feared failure and I didn’t sleep much. From everything that I had seen, the odds were I was going to walk out of there and within a week I was going to be a brand-new man. A brand-new person. So, I was very excited. Extremely, extremely excited.”
With all of Joe’s excitement, what did his family think?
“I think my wife has been through hell. Not being myself has really affected the family badly too. And I could tell they were excited for me because they had seen the pain I had been in and the lack of enjoyment of anything. So the fact that I wasn’t acting that way and was actually looking forward to something that could help the whole family – they were very supportive of it. They were very excited.”
Having support through a big event like this is crucial. Armed with him family’s support, Joe prepared to allow his body to heal itself.
Up until the bone marrow draw and the stem cell reinjection, Joe said the hardest part was getting to the clinic! The staff made everything so easy and painless. He had never given blood before, so he did feel a bit woozy after the blood draw. But, he did mention that the nurse had really good aim with the needle!
Then came the part Joe had been nervous about since the beginning. The bone marrow draw. Once the draw started, he quickly realized that his fears were for naught.
“Honestly I’ve had dental experiences that were worse. It really felt like getting a tooth drilled.”
And before he knew it, it was over!
While his bone marrow was centrifuged to isolate the stem cells, RAPS sent Joe out to Eat n Park. Shortly after lunch, Joe was back at the office and it was go time!
“I couldn’t believe when he tapped me on my shoulder and said you’re done! It was so quick and painless. They said here, put your leg brace on, here are your crutches and go home! It was crazy how easy it was.”
Before leaving, Dr. Adelsheimer prepared Joe to expect his knee to swell. The stem cells and platelets produce an inflammatory reaction to help repair the area. Because of this, Joe’s knee swelled up to about the size of a tennis ball that evening. Propping his leg up, Joe allowed his body to get to work!
It took about 2 to 3 days for the swelling to come back down to normal size. During those few days, Joe’s knee was sore. Even though it did hurt, he could feel something in there starting to change. It wasn’t just bone grinding directly on bone anymore.
“I could tell something was changing.”
February 26th Joe was back in the office for the last step in his treatment. The platelets injection.
The 3 steps in the treatment protocol can be summed up in a farming analogy. Think of prolotherapy as the mechanism to till the soil, injecting the stem cells would be comparable to planting the seeds, and the platelets would be the fertilizer to help the seeds thrive!
One quick injection of his platelets and the process was over! Now on to healing. . .
Using his crutches, Joe was able to put some weight on his knee, but for the next week he took it easy. About a week after the procedure, he started physical therapy. Beginning with very light therapy, he started with flexing his knee and lifting his leg.
Because Joe had used a cane prior to the procedure, his physical therapist explained that he’d need to work on building up the stability of his joint. His ligaments were loose and he was experiencing buckling and popping noises because he was lacking muscle tone. Having been that way for quite a while, he hadn’t realized how bad it had become.
As he gradually went through physical therapy, the brace came off.
And the cane? Well, he never seemed to have a use for it!
Within two weeks after the procedure, Joe was walking smoothly up and down steps, with no limp. He knew he still had some rehab in front of him, but he was so proud of the progress he was making. He knew eventually he’d tackle riding a bike and walking up a hillside, but Joe was ecstatic at his daily progress.
Slowly, but surely, Joe started getting back to the life he loved and had missed for so long. From February 24th on wards, it was a linear progression. Not only in his physical health, but with his mental health as well.
Click here to continue on reading Joe’s healing journey!