Dr. Dennis Lox was consulted by a soccer player from England. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis (AVN) of the knee, and consulted Dr. Lox for knee stem cell injections. He had sustained trauma to his knee several years earlier while playing soccer. Later, he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis (AVN) of the knee joint. He had been hampered by progressive knee pain, and was no longer able to run or play soccer. He consulted Dr. Lox for knee stem cell injections, as he was told he needed a knee replacement. The soccer player, wished to avoid knee replacement surgery, and desired to try stem cell injections. He was still young, in his early 30’s, and many young athletes wish to defer knee replacement.
Dr. Lox evaluated his case, and he elected to proceed with stem cell injections. He is now walking much better without pain. He has not been able to return to soccer play at this point, which is over a year after his treatment. Each patient must be assessed for their own goals. Treatment success for athletes, is often return to their sport of choice. AVN may be progressive with knee joint collapse and joint destruction. This is why so often knee replacement is recommended. However, athletes and younger patients in particular, wish to avoid knee joint replacement. Young patients may need knee implant revision, and ultimately wear their knee joint to the point of fusion. Athletes do not often want to give up their chosen sport. Success for many patients with AVN, is measured by functional goals such as pain reduction and improved walking distances.
This case illustrates the often difficult challenges presented by athletes with avascular necrosis of the knee or other joints.