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Rheumatologist Gets Stem Cells Over the Fence From Neighbor

lady looking over the fence for stem cells

Wary Rheumatologist Gets Stem Cells and is Now Gung Ho on Regenerative Medicine

The first alarming statement by this ultra conservative Rheumatologist was,
“Everybody is doing stem cells now even chiropractors.”

The Rheumatologist further stated his neighbor is an orthopedic and he gave him some “stem cells” over a discussion in the backyard. Really?

Just a short time ago, 5 months to be exact, he stated, don’t do something to mess up my work.

By all means, the Rheumatologist was extremely intelligent. We discussed cytokines, basic science, yet he didn’t understand degenerative arthritis, coexisting with a rheumatological condition. Even in athletes with trauma, and surgery. Basic concepts that certainly are impacted by other coexisting disorders such as diabetes, obesity, and yes rheumatologic joints.

Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Science is a Science

The Rheumatologist was excited to get stem cells, he had less knee pain after his supposed “stem cell injection.” He certainly had previous trauma and surgery to both knees. Both had undergone ACL tear, and meniscal surgery.

He also had knee PRP injections. I couldn’t help but ask were they real stem cells? From you? Or in a vial?

He replied, “I don’t know.”

I couldn’t help but state to this highly educated, but overly enthusiastic physician, “You should.”

I also mentioned to be careful giving some of your Rheumatologic patients just any PRP as RA can be made worse by some of the growth factors in PRP? He didn’t understand. He knew which growth factor I was referring to be he thought all PRP was the same.

PRP Procedure
The PRP Procedure

He understood the cytokine growth factor, but not understand why some people should not have a certain type of PRP, or when stem cells were better suited for which patient. Most importantly, some birth tissue products being promoted in vials by birth tissue companies are not even stem cells. I stated “nobody understands the science or cares”. This is a generalization.

There are some good actors, but many bad actors proclaiming to be new stem cell experts who know nothing of the science of stem cells or Regenerative Medicine. You don’t want to get so called “stem cells” from over a neighbor’s fence in the backyard.

That is like getting Botox from your dentist next door. The Wild West Stem Cell analogy is somewhat true.

Why You Need A Specialist

The very strange part of this story was the Rheumatologist is a good doctor.

Highly educated, and I could have very scientific discussions with him about rheumatology, but he knew nothing about the science of Regenerative Medicine, even though there are many scientific features which overlap.

Stem cells are amazing cells, but you can’t expect everyone to respond the same way. This is called the patient factor, or individualized personal care. I wouldn’t want my dentist treating my knee, nor would I want a chiropractor explaining psoriatic arthritis, with exacerbated knee and wrist degenerative arthritis from a traumatic injury.

As we age, we go to the gastroenterologist for a scope for a reason, the urologist or OB-GYN, and dermatologist for specific reasons, especially in Florida.

Those who have heart problems go to a cardiologist. You try to go to the best for a reason. Think about that next time a family member is thinking about going to a stem cell seminar.


About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.

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.

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