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Brian Gilley

In 1982, patient Brian Gilley had a motorcycle crash that severely injured his left knee. His complex injury included a torn meniscus. In the 1980’s, it was common practice to completely remove a torn meniscus, but today surgeons do everything they can to preserve the meniscus. Brian had his meniscus completely cut out resulting in constant knee pain since 1992.  Every time Brian did strenuous work, his knee would swell.  Over the years, he tried everything to alleviate the pain – pain medication, knee injections and rest – but no matter what he did, he was still in pain.

A few years ago, Brian tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. After his ACL reconstruction surgery, he wanted to see if anything could be done about the long-term pain in his left knee. “I was told that the damage in my knee was so severe that I was going to need a knee replacement in my left knee. At that point, I thought a knee replacement was going to be my only option,” Brian said.

At the time, Brian’s wife was seeing Dr. Phillips for back injections. Brian asked Dr. Phillips if he offered any knee replacement alternatives and was told about hematopoietic progenitor (HPC) stem cell therapy (also called Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate stem cells or BMAC) “What I appreciated the most about Dr. Phillips’ style of care was that he was very down-to-earth and easy to talk to. He described the whole process to me, and I was willing to try anything to alleviate my knee pain and avoid a knee replacement,” said Brian.

During the procedure, Dr. Phillips extracted the bone marrow cells from his pelvis, separated and concentrated the progenitor stem cells, and then injected the concentrated cells into his knee.

“I was really hoping that the injection would work,” said Brian. “Right after the procedure my knee did swell, which Dr. Phillips had prepared me for, but it subsided within a week or two,” he said.

“After the swelling went down, I began to notice my pain level decrease. Within a few weeks the constant knee pain was nearly gone! I was feeling so good that at the end of October I gave dancing a try. I may have overdone it by tearing a thigh muscle, which did set my progress back, but by late December I was back to a hundred percent pain free,” said Brian.

When asked what recommendations he would give other patients, Brian said, “For individuals who are experiencing constant knee pain and are unable to get relief from other conservative treatments, I would definitely recommend going to see Dr. Phillips about HPC stem cell therapy. I also recommend not going out dancing so shortly after a procedure like this. Even if you feel like a hundred percent, it is important to be careful because you can still damage the knee after the procedure.”

While clinical studies support the effectiveness of these procedures, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of outcome. All surgeries involve the risk of major complications. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.  Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine the appropriate treatment for your situation. The clinical information and opinions, including any inaccuracies expressed in this material by patients or doctor are not necessarily those of OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® and should not be considered as substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor.