Agelesstimeless.com is proud to announce our new Featured Athlete, Dick Hoyt. Dick is a remarkable athlete and father who possesses unbounded love for his son Rick. His remarkable story is posted at www.agelesstimeless.com
Ageless/Timeless is proud to feature our new athlete Paul Risso. Paul has the distinction of being our first professional baseball player. His story literally proves that dreams do come true! You may read his bio at www.agelesstimeless.com.
The stem cells were injected on December 20, 2012. On January 3, 2013, I had the final injections of PRP and Lysate to facilitate stem cell growth. The general guidelines for recuperation were 6-12 weeks from the stem cell injection date. According to my physician, Dr. Brian Shiple, patients begin normal training/exercise routines by beginning with 20% of normal activities at 6 weeks and adding 20% each week thereafter. At 12 weeks, the patient should be performing activities at 100% of the pre-injection level. These guidelines are typical and also correlate with the stem cell growth period. It is my understanding that improvement may continue up to one year beyond this period.
These guidelines did not reflect my progress. At the 12 week mark, I was experiencing the same level of knee pain that existed prior to the procedure. In fact, the pain may have been slightly worse. Though this would generally be considered a failure, I was still hopeful. However at four months, the pain was comparable to the pre-injection level. At this juncture, I consulted an orthopedic surgeon, and he recommended knee replacements for both knees. As a martial artist and powerlifter, I have encountered athletes who have had joint replacements. They are typically limited and their recuperation period is three months to one year from surgery. I decided that, without the surgery, I would not be able to continue motivating my students due to my limitations. I gave the stem cell procedure one more week to relieve the discomfort before agreeing to knee replacement surgery.
Good news; that week was crucial. I began to experience relief at approximately four and a half months from the stem cell procedure. I began to resume powerlifting, which involves squatting with weights, performing jump kick combinations, jogging and sprinting. The pain factor has dramatically decreased. Typically after such workouts, I would have difficulty walking without pain. This is no longer the case.
I need to qualify the improvement with the following caveats:
My activity level has decreased since my martial arts instruction at Penn State has ended during the summer.
I have been using a Sota Magnetic Pulser to help with the rehabilitation process. I will discuss this more in a future blog.
A local chiropractor has been providing adjustments on a weekly basis.
I have employed prayer, meditation and positive thinking.
I am not ready to call the procedure a total success. The months that follow will further define the results. Given the choice between joint replacement and stem cell injections, I would choose injection as a first option. I wish the FDA would permit the Regenexx group to culture the cells that are removed from the body. This would provide approximately 3 times the stem cell count. This option currently exits if you the patient wish to travel to the Cayman Islands. I will continue to report on the progress in months to come.
Clarence Bass, Featured Athlete, will soon release his newest work Take Charge. Mr. Bass is an icon in the health and fitness industry and an inspiration to all ageless athletes. To learn more about Take Charge, go to www.cbass.com/News7.htm
On December 20, 2012 I completed my second Regenexx procedure in Springfield, Pennsylvania. My physician, Dr. Brian Shiple, extracted stem cells which were derived from bone marrow located in the Iliac Crest. Stems cells were also taken from the abdominal region. After processing the stem cells and using my blood to create Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Lysate, Dr. Shiple began the process of injecting stem cells in my knees and strengthening my ligaments with PRP and Lysate. He also used a fat graft to repair a bulging medial meniscus in my right knee.
The entire process took approximately 3 hours from start to finish. Dr. Shiple explained every detail during the procedure and was very cognizant of my comfort level. That being said, I would advise anyone considering a Regenexx procedure, instead of traditional surgery, to be aware of the commitment required to maximize a successful outcome. Proper nutrition, supplementation and resistance training going into a procedure is highly recommended. I have done all of these the majority of my life, so I was prepared. In addition, one should not be cavalier about the treatments. This stem cell procedure was painful in spite of Dr. Shiple’s use of Novocaine throughout the majority of the extractions and injections. Novocaine could not be used during the stem cell injections. The pain killer could have an adverse effect upon the growth of the stem cells. Therefore, you have to be prepared for some pain and discomfort.
I would also recommend that you have an experienced driver take you home, if you must travel, and plan to have some support relative to meals and general care for at least two days. I had both knees done, which may be the reason for my recommendation. I was not permitted to walk for two days without crutches. I also had to wear an unloader brace on my leg for two weeks, day and night. This was due to the repair of the bulging meniscus. If you are having both legs treated, you may want to consider a wheel chair for two day. It is difficult to use crutches when both legs should be non weight bearing. Make sure you take the pain reliever prescribed before you embark on the drive to take you home or your overnight destination. I can attest that if you don’t follow this step, and rely upon Tylenol, you will regret it.
I will be unable to begin any training for at least 6 weeks from this procedure date and will not be able to assume my usual workout for 12 weeks from this date. I have high hopes regarding the Regenexx system. It is too early to tell the results. Some of my relief could be due to the minimal stress I have placed upon my knees. I also feel a strengthening of the ligaments, and actually had this reaction after my first treatment.
There are pros and cons to having both knee joints treated:
Half the travel time More difficulty initially with weight bearing
Half the recovery and down time Half the stem cells to treat effected areas
Dr. Shiple indicated that half his patients elect to have two joints treated. Only two individuals did not have relief after a year. If this procedure has the positive results that I hope for, I would not hesitate to have my knees retreated in the future, or have another joint injected.
I have uploaded a rather graphic video of the treatment. The length of the procedure required four parts to be uploaded to You-tube. It may be viewed at the following:
I completed my first Regenexx treatment on Friday, December 14, 2012. For those who have not read my previous blog, I will direct you to the last blog I posted entitled The Regenexx Solution. I have been dealing with osteoarthritis for many years. Using yoga, weight training, and martial arts, I have been able to manage and excel without a detriment to my performance. Recently, during the past 2 years, I have experienced extreme discomfort after engaging in training. I did not want to get knee replacements or an Osteotomy, therefore I sought alternatives.
I was fortunate to find Dr. Brian Shiple, a Regenexx affiliated physician, four hours from my home in Pennsylvania. Leading up to this first treatment, he was extremely supportive. He responded to all of my questions and supplied me with written information to maximize the success of the treatments.
Dr. Shiple suggested I come one day prior to the treatment to have blood drawn, which would be used the following day to inject at various locations within my knees. The blood draw only took a few minutes. It is my understanding that the blood is spun and turned into Platelet Rich Plasma, which was frozen and would be used the following day through a process that creates a platelet lysate to be used to provide a fertile environment for the future stem cells to adhere to the joint and grow. The freezing process breaks the wall of the platelet, releasing the growth factors into the plasma. The pure growth factor solution helps improve the balance of good growth factors against the pro-inflammatory bad growth factors in the joint, hence the rationale for the blood draw one day prior to the actual pre-injections. Dr. Shiple explained that arthritic joints are inflamed, and injecting stem cells into this type of environment could cause up to half of the stem cells to die as they attempted to function in the inflamed environment.
The day of the first appointment, additional blood was drawn and spun in a centrifuge to provide additional PRP to be used along with hypertonic dextrose to treat the supporting ligaments around the joints. Some may know this process as blood spinning, which is used to enhance the healing of injured tissue. After taking a case history, Dr. Shiple began a physical examination of both knees to determine the extent of injury. He then proceeded to examine both knees using a high resolution diagnostic ultrasound machine. I was amazed by his ability to determine meniscal damage and arthritis using this process. As a result of this examination, he developed a plan of injection in both knees. In addition, he provided me the results of his findings and the status of my knees.
The injections were not excruciating but uncomfortable. They were more painful than acupuncture but less painful than Synvisc injections I have experienced without a numbing agent. Dr. Shiple minimized the discomfort by using Lidocaine to numb each injection. The number of injections required and the depth may have contributed to any discomfort. The physician was thorough and insured that any injured cartilage and the meniscus was treated. He also injected the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, the ACL, PCL and Arcuate ligaments. This was to strengthen the ligaments to reduce inflammation and strengthen the supportive superstructure of the knee.
After the ninety-minute procedure, additional blood was drawn to provide Platelet Rich Plasma for my next procedure, which is the actual stem cell injection. The amount of blood drawn in the two days would be the equivalent to the amount donated by an individual at a blood drive.
I was able to drive home after the treatment, which was a four-hour trip. Though I was given a Percocet prescription for pain, I relied upon Tylenol and felt fine. The next day, I was able to stand the majority of the day with little discomfort and administer martial arts finals to college students.
One should be aware that limited strenuous physical activity is recommended from this juncture until the stem cell injections and beyond based upon a six to twelve week recuperative period. Ideally no alcohol and no more than one ounce per day should be consumed (to protect stem cell growth). Aspirin should be avoided at least seven days before the first procedure and throughout the recuperation period.
The treatments are not covered by insurance, therefore one should be aware of the following fee structure:
1. Standard Regenexx consult fee- $535 on day one. If a phone review was done with the doctor, $200 will be removed from the consult fee. The phone review fee is $200 per 30 minutes. Most reviews go to an hour. The consult fee covers recording and the time to take a history, perform an exam, review films, perform a diagnostic ultrasound and go over all consent forms and other paper work- 60 minutes.
2. Pre-treatment platelet lysate procedure fee- $1000, second joint $250. If dextrose is used instead of lysate $500, second joint $250.
3. Stem cell day- Standard Regenexx charge that is posted on-line- $4,350 (this includes a mandatory $150 research fee). Second joint $1000. Addition of a fat graft is $1000. (Standard Regenexx charge for fat graft is $2000. A 50% discount for the fat graft is offered in certain cases).
4. Post-treatment PRP/platelet lysate- $1000, second joint $250.
As an Ageless/Timeless Athlete, I have always tried to rely upon science and the experience of other Ageless Athletes to guide me in my quest for healthy longevity. Whether it be the selection of vitamins and supplements, food choices or exercise regimens, this premise has guided me to make logical choices. In addition, I have relied upon my personal successes and failures. Not all of my choices have enhanced my performance, even though others may benefit from a similar lifestyle choice.
I have utilized the same premise in the treatment of injuries. While playing football in the late 60’s I suffered a severe bicep injury that prevented me from flexing my right arm. The team physician suggested I try a new treatment. In his office, he placed a gel on my bicep and pressed a device repetitively over my bicep. I was amazed at the quick positive results. By the time I left the office my bicep flexion had dramatically improved. As archaic as it may now appear, that device was an Ultra-Sound machine. At the time, it was cutting edge therapy.
While performing a double snap kick in the air twenty years later, I landed in a manner that led to a stabbing pain in my knee which I shall never forget. The pain was excruciating and I feared my martial arts career was over. I consulted a local physician who informed me that I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament and required surgery. In 1991, this was a relatively new procedure and I was not satisfied that the surgeon had the expertise to ensure that I would be kicking twenty years later. I wasn’t certain that such a surgery was necessary but was soon to discover through reading and my knee instability the surgery was necessary. A friend who was a local physician strongly suggested that I travel 100 miles to Pittsburgh to have the surgery performed by the renowned Dr. Freddie Fu. Dr. Fu was a leader in the field and was the team physician for Pitt football and many local teams in the area. I took his advice and had remarkable results. My kicking and pivoting ability were restored and powerlifting became a reality due to his expertise.
Years of kicking, pivoting and powerlifitng have had a dramatic impact upon my knee cartilage and meniscus. For years, I have ingested the standard Glucosamine and Chondroiton supplements, used MSM Creams, regrettably consumed Vioxx for a short period, used orthotics, exercises and braces. I have been injected with Synvisc and requested Platelet Rich Plasma or blood spinning injections. In addition acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments have been part of my protocol. All of these attempts have had varying degrees of effectiveness. I now find myself in a similar quandary as previous injuries. What is the best path to insure that I am able to continue to kick, sprint and power-lift at a level that will permit me to motivate others.
An orthopedic surgeon had suggested partial knee replacements. This could be effective but long term rehabilitation is required and certainly complications could arise as with any surgery. Full flexion may never regained and running is often prohibitive based on what I have been told by individuals who have taken this route. Others have suggested an osteotomy which in essence is an effort to straighten varus or bow-legged knees with a bone graft. My martial arts grandmaster opted for this approach with no improvement.
During an interview with an amazing Featured Ageless Athlete, I became aware of cutting edge alternative. Dr. Joseph Maroon informed me that he had received stem cell injections from Regennex physicians as an alternative to knee replacement and since, continues to participate in triathlons. I immediately went to the Regennex web site to research the viability of this procedure. In addition, I found a local physician who was attempting to gain FDA approval for a similar procedure. It has taken two years to finally decide upon the Regennex injections. The local physician’s FDA approval had moved at a snails pace and he supported the Regennex decision, indicating that they had the most experience in this area.
I have sent my MRI to Regennex in the Broomfield, Colorado the home of the Centeno-Shultz Clinic and had a consultation by phone with a representative. The physician was able to determine the efficacy of the stem cell procedure based upon my particular degeneration. The procedure involves a three phase process.
The first phase will be blood spinning and inflammation reduction. According to Regennex physician Dr. Brian Shiple, “ Pre-treatment is to prepare a platelet lysate to inject in your joint or inject a hypertonic dextrose and novacaine mixture into the joint. The Platelet Lysate or PL is prepared by drawing 60cc of blood and then spinning it in a centrifuge to create a Stem Cell Plasma or SCP or Platelet Rich Plasma.” He indicates that research has shown that half of transplanted stem cells may be destroyed within an inflamed joint. The first phase is designed to encourage the joint to accept the stem cells within an optimal environment.
The second session, conducted one week later, will be the primary phase which involves extracting stem cells from bone marrow which when processed, will be injected in my knees with a growth factor.
In addition, fat cells will be extracted from viable donor areas and re-injected in the knee. A driver will be needed to take me home from the procedure due to the anesthetic and the need to be somewhat immobile with the help of unloader braces and crutches.
Dr Shiple describes the third phase by stating, “ Two weeks later you will return for the post-injection treatment with a mixture of the platelet lysate and SCP (PRP) into your joint to continue to feed or fertilize the existing stem cells still in your joint. The stem cells will continue to do their immediate job for approximately 6 weeks but growth factor signaling will last probably twice as long which directs the repair and healing process.”
There is preparation prior to the procedure. Diet and medication adjustment including aspirin cessation
is necessary. A variety of tips for success including supplements have been sent to me which I am now following. Exercise is another facet. It appears that weightlifters have enhanced stem cell growth and are more likely to have a successful results.
One of the initial deterrents for me was the distance I would have to travel to the Colorado clinic. This has been remedied by additional satellite locations being established across the country. I was ecstatic to find Dr. Brian Shiple located in Springfield, Pennsylvania. The proximity to my home, a four hour trip, makes the stem-cell appointments far more attractive and reasonable from a traveling standpoint.
I do not know if the procedures will be a success but Regennex is my best hope in the United States.
According to their web site located at www.regenexx.com, they have seven years of experience in the field and have performed over 1300 knee procedures to date. Certainly, I will blog after each phase and during recuperation. As always, I look forward to a life of speed, strength and impact upon others. It is vital that I seek treatments that will enhance, not deter my growth.
Niagara Falls – At 4:00 September 29th 2012, 54 year old current Guinness World Weightlifter Record holder Walter Urban set a new Guinness World Weightlifting Record for the “Heaviest Sumo Dead lift in one minute” – lifting 10535 LBS in 60 seconds.
Walter lifted a 215 lb weightlifting bar 49 times over the 60 seconds for the 10535 lbs and the new record.
The effort to break the current world record is the result of team work over a 12 month period, supported by 16 years of core work. The effort is to bring attention to the fact the adults can continue to remain healthy and get stronger longer than even before, well into their 50’s and 60’s. Also to stress that “steroids” are not necessary to reach new heights in athletic performance. The goal is to raise awareness and success of “drug free” performance among young amateur athletes around the US and Canada.
Last year, Urban broke the then current Guinness Book of World Records, and set the present record for the most amount of weight lifted squatting in one hour September 15th, 2011 – drug free on Live with Regis and Kelly. Walter’s record weight was 127,245 lbs which was accomplished by completing 904 squats in one hour, or 15 squats per minute, at an average weight of 140 lbs for 60 minutes.
Walter is a US Citizen living and working in Canada. He was once again independently drug tested for all performance enhancing drugs by Evans OCC Health Clinic in Toronto Canada in conjunction with Health Street NYC and tested negative for all tests.
Odd Haugen, once again will defy father time. This 6′ 3″, 300 pound “Ageless Hulk”, continues to push the strongman envelope, crushing the stereotype of weakening with age. Some of Haugen’s accomplishments are as follows: 1999 AFSA Strongest Man in America, USA Strong Man Champion and Hawaii Strongest Man for 2000, 2001 and 2003, Competed in World’s Strongest Man while in his mid fifties
At age 62, he will compete in the Ultimate Master Strongman 2012 on August 26 and 27. To read more about the strength challenges he will endure, navigate to http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2012/Aug/Ultimate_Master_World_Strongest_Man_2012.html