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Knee Osteoarthritis Saga

Stem Cells and Knee Replacement

Here’s the jump off page for my experience with Osteoarthritis of the Knees. You can find a more prosaic history  HERE and some general knee information and my specific cartilage measurements are here.

  • 1999:  Knee ‘pops’ during my black belt test
  • 2001:  Gave up on TaeKwonDo and started pick-up soccer
  • 2003:  Had to abandon soccer as braces and over-the-counter analgesics weren’t cutting it.
  • 2006:  Visit to Orthopedist diagnosed OA Correctly informed of the ‘eventual’ progression my OA.
    • Current replacement hardware was expected to last up to 15 years – I was 47 and didn’t like the implication.
    • Began seeing a rheumatologist for pain management.
    • Investigating other options beside knee replacement – started to see articles on platelet rich plasma and stem cells for soft tissue treatment.
  • 2008: Read article about Stem Cell procedures on race horses in Australia
  • 2009: Found doctors offering stem cell procedures – chose one in Maryland.  2009 Left Knee
  • 2013: Right knee is becoming painful.   2013 – Both Knees
  • 2014: Since there was no relief from the 2013 procedure, I returned to Maryland.  Right Knee Stem Cell Procedure
  • 2015:  Returned to Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick-MD for an assessment. 
    • Based on my response to the 2014 procedure and the remaining cartilage, my knees had deteriorated to a point that additional stem cell treatment would be ineffective. 
    • Began researching knee replacement
    • Found a company offering customized knee hardware and a minimally invasive operating technique.
  • 2016: both knees replaced with iTotal CR from Conformis at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital by Dr. Wolfgang Fitz.
  • 2017: Follow-up appointment showed good integration of implant and bone.

Questions, comments – interested in sharing your experience?  Contact me:  bruce at brucelerner dot com