CC Sabathia, the prized pitcher for the New York Yankees, has just undergone a stem cell injection for his injured right knee. The ace has been playing in pain for much of this season, and after a medical examination in Florida it was determined that he has “degenerative changes” in his right knee. This does not mean he has a meniscus tear, or an ACL injury, but rather that he has damage as a result of years of wear and tear. When asked about the specifics of Sabathia’s knee injury, the Yankees general manager said, “he has cartilage breakdown”, and although the reports did not mention specifics, this breakdown or cartilage thinning is a common indicator of Osteoarthritis. Given the fact that the Yankees still owe CC Sabathia at least 75 million dollars over the next 3 years, it is no surprise that the Yankees looked for the most advanced treatment options to nip the knee degeneration in the bud, before the changes become more severe.
The stem cell injection Sabathia received is often times performed through the extraction and processing of Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC). Housed within the rich cellular mixture of Bone Marrow is a potent combination of inflammatory cells, growth factors and stem cells, which have been shown to accelerate the body’s healing process and improve pain and function in cases of joint degeneration. The Orthohealing Center has performed this procedure on a variety of injuries, including hip, knee and shoulder arthritis, and even published research on the use of Bone Marrow Concentrate for cartilage disease. The Orthohealing Center has seen very promising results in patients who have undergone this procedure, especially in cases involving the shoulder.
Just as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has received substantial publicity from its use in professional athletes, stem cell and BMC procedures are quickly starting to show the same. CC Sabathia’s procedure is one of the first highly publicized cases of stem cell injections in pro athletes, although most certainly not the first. The media exposure of Orthobiologic therapies, such as PRP and BMC, is a large contributing factor for increasing public awareness of alternative treatment options, as well as driving research efforts in this emerging field of regenerative orthopedics. When analyzing the recent trends in the use of biologic therapy, it looks promising that treatments such as PRP and BMC will shortly become mainstays in patient care. As a pioneer in the field of orthobiologics and regenerative orthopedics, The Orthohealing Center strives to increase research efforts and collaboration to continuously advance the field. Stay connected to find out about new advancements in Bone Marrow treatments as well as Orthohealing’s research efforts.
The image above shows an ultrasound-guided BMC knee injection. Potentially a similar technique to Sabathia’s injection.