An Alternative to the Risks and Pain of Knee Surgery That Will Have You Ready For a Post-Pandemic World
If you’ve been dealing with pain in your knee joints – whether from a tear, tendonitis, arthritis, bursitis, or just wear and tear over time – now might be the time to get it taken care of. The full recovery time after a Regenexx procedure in January will have you back long before our nation’s forecasted reopening. You could spend the final dark days of quarantine working towards a new, pain-free normal just in time for sunny spring days and all the activities that come with them!
Read on to see how the recovery timeline of Regenexx regenerative knee procedures and traditional knee replacement surgeries (both with and without complications) lines up with the nation’s COVID-19 recovery timeline.
The Nation’s Recovery from COVID-19 Timeline
It seemed there was no end in sight for the whirlwind that has been COVID-19. Finally, nearly 9 months into the pandemic, a vaccine is beginning distribution, and there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel.
The United States is projected to start “getting back to normal” around November 2021. In the meantime, the vaccine is expected to be administered to about 70% of the nation’s population, starting with health care workers and nursing home residents and employees. Social distancing, masks, curfews, and a reduced number of social gatherings will likely remain enforced and/or encouraged until this time. In some states the operation of gyms, indoor dining, and entertainment businesses may be prohibited for periods of time as well .
If the Country Won’t be “Back to Normal” for a While, What’s the Rush on Getting my Knee Taken Care Of?
It may be hard to believe right now during the early days of winter, but spring is near! Even in Spring 2020 when shutdowns began, outdoor activities like walking/running in the park, golf, and biking were never put on hold – and they still won’t be in 2021. The last thing you need is your knee pain keeping you from getting outside and enjoying the outside freedom of the beautiful weather when it arrives. With a new patient exam sometime in January, you will not have to miss a thing come spring.
Here’s what you can expect with a Regenexx Stem Cell Knee Procedure :
- Our knee procedure consists of three 30-60-minute appointments over a period of about a week. The procedure involves 3 steps. First appointment preps your joint to accept the stem cells. The second appointment extracts and injects your body’s natural stem cells into the joint, beginning joint repair work. The third appointment injects PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) to enhance the joint’s natural healing process. Even on the day of the stem cell procedure, patients return home, with minimal discomfort and the ability to return to work the next day.
- Significant changes may not be seen in the first few weeks. You should expect that in the first week, all symptoms and pain should return to how the joint felt prior to the stem cell injections (your baseline).
- Physical therapy begins a week after your stem cell injection
- COVID-19 Note: With shutdowns happening again, a great thing to note is that unlike with knee replacements, and because after a Regenexx procedure you still have full range of motion, we can set you up with virtual rehab available for you to do at home!
- Within 2-12 weeks, patients should have no trouble performing normal, everyday activities and experience little to no joint pain.
- Anywhere between 3-6 months from the time of the procedure, the most significant improvements will be seen. This usually means less pain, fewer flare-ups, quicker recovery and increased tolerance for activities.
- From 6-12 months, joint improvement only continues and most patients should be fully back to doing more high-impact activities such as hiking, running, and gardening
- Improvement can continue for many years thereafter
Why a Regenerative Procedure Over Knee Replacement Surgery?
Until recently, standard treatments for musculoskeletal injuries or pain in joints have been focused on opioid narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cortisone injections, ablation (burning) of nerves, and surgeries.
Knee replacement surgery comes with a longer road to recovery, much more risk, and a prolonged period of pain. Joint replacements carry serious risks such as heart attack, stroke, clotting, and infection. There is also the possibility of needing revision surgery and therefore much more down time before getting back to simple things like walking, working, driving, and exercising. Many knee replacement surgery patients also experience high pain levels during the first few months of healing, whereas regenerative patients experience increased pain during the first week after the procedure, at most.
As we showed you in the timeline chart above, knee replacement surgery (either with or without complications) has a much longer forecasted recovery timeline than a regenerative procedure. In the best case scenario, with surgery sometime in January, most patients wouldn’t be fully functioning or able to participate in all outdoor activities with loved ones until August. Worst case scenario, some patients will experience complications with the artificial joint, must undergo revision surgery, and won’t make a full recovery up to a full year after the initial procedure .
As you can see, by mid-May, most Regenexx patients would be fully recovered from their procedure, able to enjoy the spring, summer, and fall months and all the wonderful activities that come with them. However, most knee replacement surgery patients will still be in the midst of their recovery and out of the game for at least three more months – and that’s only if everything goes to plan.
Get Back for the Activities You Love by Spring – Safely
The world may not be fully reopened yet, but Regenexx is open to serve our community – safely. Here’s how:
- Pre-Appointment patient COVID-19 symptom checks by phone
- Patients go from car to one-at-a-time check-in to a private exam room.
- On-premises patient temperature check and COVID-19 symptom re-check.
- All providers and staff wear masks to reduce potential spread of virus to patients.
- All providers and patients use frequent hand washing.
- All common surfaces cleaned frequently with medical grade anti-viral disinfectants.
- Patients have safe choices, and if needed, Telehealth appointments are possible for initial consultations
For more details on our COVID-19 safety precautions, click here.
We know it can be overwhelming to choose a solution for your pain, so if you’re a little earlier in your research process, perhaps you may benefit from attending a live webinar with one of Regenexx Pittsburgh’s three doctors.
As our world works towards its recovery from COVID-19, you can work towards yours and be ready to take on the world as soon as it’s ready for you! Talk to an expert today by tapping on the “Are You A Candidate” image below.