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Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy in Tennis Players

Jan 27, 2019

Dennis M. Lox M.D. has treated tennis players from all age groups and competitive levels. From teen tennis players in high school with knee or shoulder injuries and pain, looking to obtain college scholarships which they did, to Senior Circuit players. Dr. Lox doesn’t just treat knees or shoulders, he has treated tennis players with back pain, failed back surgery, hip pain, degenerative arthritis, Achilles’ tendon tears all with Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy. Dr. Lox has returned all these types of injuries to tennis and other sports. Even a London, England concert pianist wrist. A professional hall of Fame football player Derrick Brooks wrists. A high school rower with a college scholarship to an Ivy League school, who after fell during a pickup game of basketball. This fall fractured the lunate bone in his wrist, and he developed avascular necrosis (AVN). The same condition AVN ended the legendary professional football player Bo Jackson’s football career after he had to have hip replacement surgery. Bo Jackson underwent rigorous and painful rehabilitation after his hip replacement surgery and played another year of professional baseball before ultimately retiring. The high school rower with wrist AVN was told by an orthopedic surgeon he would need his wrist fuse, thus ending his hopes for a college scholarship at this Ivy League school. His mother also a doctor across the state of Florida had heard of Dr.Lox and his work with Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy in patients with Avascular necrosis or AVN. After a successful stem cell treatment with Dr. Lox he was able to row competitively and got his college scholarship.

Bo Jackson

Knee Problems in The Greatest Tennis Players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

                                                                              Rafael Nadal


Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer perhaps two of the greatest tennis players ever are still playing in their mid to late thirties when previous generations were long retired. This dynamic duo of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are still at this golden age still winning the greatest tennis tournaments in the sport the grand slams. Both have more grand slam trophies 17 and 20 respectively than any other male tennis players in history. Both have had knee issues. Rafael Nadal most of his career. Blamed partly on his aggressive style of play. Roger Federer, however, has mostly been injury free his long career. Attributed to his seemingly effortless graceful style of play. Roger Federer at times seems to float almost. Thus, less impactful to joints, particularly the knee. Rafael Nadal has long been a proponent early on in his career of Regenerative Medicine. After many tournaments, he was reported to have Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments to his knees. Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a concentrated form of blood platelets taken from the patient’s peripheral blood typically an arm vein, a normal blood draw. The blood is concentrated to deliver a concentrated form of platelets. Blood platelets long known to clot blood are actually more interesting and complicated. They contain and release growth factors the building blocks to repair. Especially a cut or open wound. The bold cuts, a scab forms and when the scab falls off voila….new skin is there. This is simplistic for the simple model of a small cut. PRP lacks stem cells a necessary component to form new skin. However, the skin surrounding the area has plentiful stem cells which are recruited by the growth factors released from the platelets. This phenomenon is done by the cell to cell signaling. The bodies messenger system or email if you will. This is good for blood rich vascular areas like skin and muscles. Joints are typically devoid or lacking stem cells. This PRP functions primarily as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, and control system of the inflammation in joints. Great for between tennis tournaments or football games, however, it can rebuild cartilage. This is often the problem with damaged or injured knee joints. Examples are knee meniscal tears, ACL tears, and degenerative arthritis. In 2012, Rafael Nadal took 7 months off the professional tennis tour to heal his ailing knees. He had knee stem cell therapy. Dr. Lox has lectured in Aspen, Colorado at an International Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy Conference, and invited Rafael Nadal’s doctor to be part of the Sports and Regenerative Medicine panel to discuss athletes and Regenerative Medicine. Rafael Nadal returned to be the world number 1 ranked men’s tennis player in 2013, after what has to be declared as a successful knee stem cell therapy treatment and rehabilitation. Obtaining world number 1 ranking after an injury is the highest achievement possible.

Roger Federer Tennis Great Knee Pain and Injury

                                                                           Roger Federer

Roger Federer, unlike Rafael Nadal, developed knee pain late in his career in his mid-thirties. Roger Federer opted for knee arthroscopic surgery. An interesting decision based on his graceful style of play, and relatively older age in terms of professional tennis. Roger Federer initially struggled upon his return to the men’s professional tennis tour, adopted a new larger racquet size and modifications to his game eventually also returning to world number 1 men’s tennis rankings.

Andy Murray British Tennis Champion Former World Number 1, Hip and Back Pain

                                                                      Andrew “Andy” Murray

Andy Murray has been plagued later in his career with back and hip injuries and chronic pain. He has had both hip and back surgery returned to professional tennis after lengthy recovery periods but has still had problems especially hip pain. He has not regained his Former World number 1 ranking. After his last first-round exit from the 2019 Australian Open, he has suggested he is retiring. Surgical debridement of hip labrum tissue, like the shoulder labrum or knee meniscus, is no guarantee of a return to prior healthy athletic status. Andy Murray has been considering advice from a doubles champion on hip resurfacing, as Bob Brian has had this hip resurfacing technique, and returned to compete in doubles tennis. However, singles tennis is more stressful and strenuous on the hip, knee, and ankle. Many Major League Baseball pitchers never make it back to professional baseball after shoulder labral surgery, and if they do the average duration of their career post surgery is 100 innings pitched. There are always the exceptions who have outstanding lengthy post-surgery careers, yet the statistics post surgery are ominous.  Dr. Lox has had many tennis players succeed in continuing to play tennis after shoulder, hip, back, knee, and ankle injuries and play affected their game. They chose Dr. Lox for his expertise in Sports and Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy. These tennis players ranged from high school athletes getting college scholarships in tennis to senior circuit players.

Knee Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy

Dr. Lox also has treated his own knees with stem cell therapy from a downhill giant slalom skiing accident tearing his ACL ligament and medial meniscus. This is a violent injury, and destined to degenerative arthritis with or without surgery in the future. Medical scientific literature dating back to 1945 in London, England clearly describes degenerative knee arthritis after knee surgery years later. Our surgery techniques have improved, yet degenerative knee arthritis remains. We know understand traditional medical therapies for arthritis don’t work. Anti-inflammatory medications long prescribes for decades with the pharmaceutical industry developing new ones for years. None stop the arthritis progression over time. The International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) renounced the use of oral prescription anti-inflamatories known as NSAID’s, as beginning ineffective years ago. These include ibuprofen and Naproxen along with countless others. As a further revelation of progress the ICRS has renamed itself the International Cartilage Regenerative Society as a reflection of scientific progress towards Regenerative Medicine. Similarly, cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid injections (what some refer to as chicken comb injections, and surgery also do not halt the progression of degenerative knee arthritis or any joint arthritis. Dr. Lox has participated in their annual meetings in Izmir, Turkey and Sorento, Italy, as well as moderated and invited several international renown cartilage researchers at major Universities to lecture in Sports and Regenerative Medicine modules Dr. Lox organized at other Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy conferences. Staying abreast of current and past treatment successes and failures is important to truly understand the art and science of medicine.

Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area, Florida (727) 462-5582

Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Beverly Hills, California (310) 975-7033

https://www.drlox.com

Picture of Dr. Lox in his office

About the Author

Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.

Dennis M. Lox M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.

Dennis M. Lox M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.