Stem Cells, Athletes and AVN
Athletes are prone to many types of injuries. Athletes are also turning towards stem cells for a variety of injury treatments. Avascular Necrosis (AVN) occurs when a region of bone dies due to lack of blood flow. This predisposes the area of necrotic bone to degenerate quickly. This can end an athletes career and has ended many players careers. The most famous case was Bo Jackson the professional football and baseball player. Bo Jackson developed hip AVN after being tackled in a football game. Jackson never played professional football again but did return for 1 more year of professional baseball.
What is AVN?
There are many other terms for Avascular necrosis, including ischemic necrosis, aseptic necrosis, and osteonecrosis. All these terms refer to the same disorder. Stem cells offer the athlete the possibility of avoiding surgery if the area of AVN is repaired or does not progress, allowing a return to sport. Surgical options can be career ending when dealing with AVN.
Treatments for AVN
Stem cells may exert their effect by a variety of mechanisms. The most important factor is halting the progression to a rapid degenerating joint, however, if a reparative effect occurs naturally the more options the patient has. Children with a type of hip AVN known as Legg Catches Perthes disease may display spontaneous healing. This may be due to larger numbers of stem cells residing in young joints, however not all do heal spontaneously. Some develop significant degenerative arthritis in their twenties.
The ability of athletes to have an alternative treatment option such as Regenerative Medicine techniques and stem cell therapy can provide an alternative in some cases to career-ending surgery. AVN of some joints such as the hip or knee may result in recommendations for hip or knee joint replacement surgery. These surgeries are often not compatible with some sports.
Other Joints Affected by AVN
Other joints affected by AVN such as the ankle or wrist often lead to recommendations for wrist or ankle fusion. Both of these surgeries preclude a return to most sports. These reasons are often what leads athletes to seek counsel regarding stem cell therapy with an expert such as Dr. Lox.
If you’re in pain or had an injury and are looking for an alternative to surgery, contact us immediately at one of our locations. Our Main Medical Center located in Tampa Bay, Florida (727) 462-5582 or at Beverly Hills, California (310) 975-7033. www.drlox.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
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.