How was your pain effecting you?
Before the procedure I was very active person, but started to get arthritic pain and swelling after exercise, such as skiing. To a point where at the end 2016, I had been walking in the Lake District (as I did regularly), but suddenly I could not do it anymore. The pain was high, and the swelling was quite dramatic.
Since that point in time, I have not been able to walk in the Lake District having bought an apartment specifically to do that. I also have not been able to walk my dog, which although doesn’t need a lot of exercise that was even painful. Anything putting prolonged impact on my knees was causing real problems and pain.
It was starting to restrict my lifestyle and enjoyment to a point where depression, a strong word, but it was beginning to make me feel about what would my future hold as the things I enjoyed doing – hill walking, jet skiing, mountain walking – were becoming quite problematic.
How would you describe the pain?
Prior to the procedure, during waking hours I would endure low level, background pain 80% of the time. I would learn to get on with life, but you are aware it is there. I tried to protect the knee as much as I could whilst aiming to continue my lifestyle as long as I could.
I would also endure acute, very sharp needle like pain 6-12 times a day, the sort of pain that would result in you drawing in a sharp intake of breath and hold it. This was not generally during exercise, or walking – but when sitting and resting. These acute pains also happen during the night, would wake me up, and would be left with a medium chronic pain that would affect my sleep patterns.
This would impact mentally and physically. I have always been physically active, marathon running, keen on any sport, anything that gave me a way to challenge. I was looking into the future, and this was not what I wanted for my future.
I had a complex meniscal repair and after 15 months, I began to realise the chronic tear was only contributing to my pain, but was not the main cause. A discussion with a physiotherapist established the pain was perhaps only 30% of the cause, the rest was the undiagnosed osteoarthritis that I had just been living with.
Why did you choose the Regenerative Clinic?
I looked at various options, my surgeon of my meniscal repair is well known and competent. I discussed with him the options for the future and I did not like the idea of the partial knee replacement. I know they can be successful, however, there is no coming back from it and they have a lifespan – I may need to go through it again 10-15 years later.
Looking at the modern world, I am aware that stem sell treatments are becoming more recognised and effective in modern medicine. When looking online I came across the Regenerative Clinic as a trustworthy establishment. I read an article, and read lots of feedback from patients who had had it done.
It seemed to be a quick, easy procedure with some restriction what you can do but no where near the time to recover, a partial knee needs 6 weeks of no weight bearing. As a self employed consultant 6 weeks without work, when you do the sums is really quite dramatic.
What was your first impression of the clinic?
Obviously, this is one of a number of establishments and I did make a call to quite a few clinics. However, from the first time I called the Regenerative Clinic, the information I received from them was fantastic. The information told me about the whole thing, how it works, what would happen on the day, what the benefits would be over periods of time. It gave me the feeling these people know what they were talking about and they were willing to share that with you over the phone to help me make the right decision.
This was followed up with a 10 minute free consultation with an orthopaedic consultant. This actually lasted about 20 minutes, there was no hurry and the consultant was very knowledgeable. There was no charge or commitment. These were people who had a passion, genuine care and wanted to ensure I could make an informed decision.
Within 10 days, I went ahead with the initial full consultation and it was established I would be suitable for the Lipogems®
procedure. I made the decision it would be more beneficial to have both knees done at the same time.
How was your experience of the Lipogems®
On the day, I was quite nervous, I had invested a lot emotionally as I wanted my life back. I have to say, the morning at the clinic was so calm and everyone was great. They walked me through the procedure and they made me relaxed. The nurses were fantastic, I got back in the afternoon and thought – that was easy.
I spent the next 5 weeks, really not doing much at all, I had full mobilization in both knees. I rested a lot, I drove the automatic car but I didn’t walk my dog. I chose to rest my knees for 4 to 5 weeks. I did not want my actions to effect what was going on, I didn’t want to look back and think my actions were the reason the treatment had not worked.
I noticed within a week, the pain levels had improved. I am now 8-10 weeks following the treatment, and pain levels have changed a lot. I have gone from 80% pain, I would say that is down to 10- 20%. I’ve had only 2 bouts of acute pain in the past 8 weeks when I used to have 6-10 a day.
I am now getting my life back on track, walking my dog, 2 mile undulating and I can manage 30 minutes medium resistance on a turbo bike – pain free. Things are moving in the right direction and I am hoping will be back in the lake district soon. I am trying to get those knees moving, without too much impact.
Do you feel it has been worthwhile?
I can only talk of the stage I am at. The people who know say benefits start from 6 weeks and can carry on from 6-12 months.. Given the results, I would recommend it to other people, absolutely!