Most doctors will tell you that you need surgery to repair a torn meniscus. That the cartilage won’t grow back…
The truth is you CAN rebuild achy knees like magic with platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP. This healing plasma, which comes from your own blood, contains hundreds of growth factors that regenerate injured tissue and rebuild damaged cartilage.
And one of these growth factors, PDGF, increases meniscus cell production up to 800%.1
I see this type of injury a lot in my older patients. Sometimes it’s from a sports injury. But more often, a sudden turn, lifting something too heavy or squatting has caused the damage.
They’re frustrated. They’re in pain. They want to get back on the golf course or tennis court.
Sometimes, they’ll go to see an orthopedic surgeon before coming in to my clinic. They’ve been conditioned to think that’s their only option. And those surgeons almost always say the same thing. They NEED surgery.
I view any surgery as a last resort. But this surgery comes with a special set of problems.
First of all, this operation doesn’t repair ripped cartilage. It just removes the torn pieces.
And the operation leaves you with an 80-100% risk of developing osteoarthritis.2 It also increases your odds of needing a total knee replacement three-fold.3
And incredibly, new research has found that fewer than 15% of patients who had the surgery felt better immediately after the operation.
And only 2.4% said they felt any pain relief after six months.4
Fortunately, breakthrough treatments are now available that harness the healing power of your own body.
One is stem cell therapy.
This is the same procedure that’s helped more than 100 world-class athletes like football great Peyton Manning and top-ranked tennis legend Rafael Nadal.
By now, you’re probably familiar with stem cells. They’re your body’s stockpile of immature cells that have the ability to develop into almost any type of cell within our body — whether it’s a heart cell, a blood cell or a cartilage cell.
At the Sears Institute of Anti-Aging Medicine, we harvest healthy stem cells from your own adipose (fat) tissue and reintroduce them into the damaged area. This stimulates the production of new cells, reduces inflammation and kick-starts the healing process.
Even in “white zones,” or areas that don’t heal well.
Researchers at the University of Iowa found that stem cells and cartilage cells could be directed to these white zone areas in the knee where serious meniscus injuries don’t usually heal.5
And another study showed that stem cells could regenerate meniscus tissue in patients who had already undergone surgery.6
The results are even more dramatic when combined with PRP.
PRP consists of drawing a tiny amount of blood and spinning it through a centrifuge. This separates out red blood cells and leaves behind plasma with a high concentration of platelets.
The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage.
And a recent study showed that PRP provides pain relief, stops the progression of meniscal damage and regenerates tissue.7
PRP works for arthritis, torn muscles and ligaments, knee osteoarthritis, damaged joint cartilage — and much more.
This minimally invasive therapy begins working by the time you leave the office.
If you’re interested in learning how stem cell and PRP therapy can get you up and moving again — or even if you just have questions about the procedures — please call my office at 561-784-7852. My staff would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, there’s an easy exercise that you can do right now that will help build and maintain strength in your thigh muscles. This will provide stability and flexibility to your knee and help relieve pain.
Sitting Quad Set
- Sit on the floor with your injured leg straight out in front of you. Don’t straighten your injured knee completely.
- Tighten your thigh muscles. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Release and rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 8 to 12 times.
- Rest until you feel as if you’ve recovered.
- Do two more sets, increasing the amount of time you tighten your muscles in each set.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Hauser R, et al. “Platelet Rich Plasma Prolotherapy as First-Line Treatment for Meniscal Pathology.” PRM Practical Pain Management. December 21, 2011.
2. Englund M, et al. “Evidence that meniscus damage may be a component of osteoarthritis: the Framingham study.” Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016 Feb;24(2):270-3.
3.Rongen JJ, Rovers MM, van Tienen TG, Buma P, Hannink G. Increased risk for knee replacement surgery after arthroscopic surgery for degenerative meniscal tears: a multi-center longitudinal observational study using data from the osteoarthritis initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 Jan;25(1):23-29. 4. Reed AC, et al. “Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee arthritis and meniscal tears: a clinical practice guideline.” BMJ. 2017 May 11;357.
5. McCrum CL, Vangsness CT. “Postmeniscectomy Meniscus Growth With Stem Cells: Where Are We Now?” Sports Med Arthrosc. 2015 Sep;23(3):139-42.
6. Seol D, Zhou C, Brouillette MJ, Song I, Yu Y, Choe HH, Lehman AD, Jang KW, Fredericks DC, Laughlin BJ, Martin JA. “Characteristics of meniscus progenitor cells migrated from injured meniscus.” J Orthop Res. 2016 Nov 3. doi: 10.1002/jor.23472.
7. Blanke F, Vavken P, Haenle M, von Wehren L, Pagenstert G, Majewski M. “Percutaneous injections of Platelet rich plasma for treatment of intrasubstance meniscal lesions.” Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2015 Oct 20;5(3):162-166.