After receiving the news from my doctor that surgery didn’t work (and, in fact, made things worse!), I asked him what my options were going forward. Of course, they aren’t good…..they really aren’t good. He suggested an Osteotomy (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/knee-osteotomy/basics/definition/prc-20019023), but also suggested that I might want to get more opinions. The Osteotomy is very invasive, has been described as very painful and has a very tough recovery process. And, again there are no guarantees that it would work. You can probably see why I’m not jumping right on this band wagon.
So, I went and saw 2 other doctors. The first one agreed that the Osteotomy was my only real option but he said, “What if I told you either way, that you wouldn’t run again.” I guess he likes making girls cry :(. The second doctor I saw recommended a Tibial Tubercle Transfer (Osteotomy) (http://www.banffsportmed.ca/tibial-tubercle-transfer-osteotomy). However, he has worked with a lot of athletes and has used PRP injections with some success. He suggested it might be something for me to try before having another invasive surgery. He wasn’t set up to offer this yet so I went back to my original surgeon and he concurred that it might work for me…or at least offer me some improvement. I was all set to have the PRP injections after my trip to France.
However, I happened to meet something in my marathon group that had recently had a positive experience with stem cell treatments. I had explored this as an option before my microfracture but was told that I wasn’t a good candidate. After submitting my records to the Regenexx group and speaking to one of the doctors, I’ve been told that I am a good candidate.
I’m scheduled to have the procedure done on Janaury 6th, which is ironically 1 year to the date from my microfracture surgery. I’m hoping that is a good omen of some sort. This procedure (http://www.regenexx.com/) isn’t offered locally to me, so I’ll be traveling to Chicago to have it done. The treatment requires 3 visits over a 4-day period and will then require a couple of days on crutches and some time in a knee brace but it is otherwise pretty non-invasive and I’ll be able to get back to some activity relatively quickly.
The downside of course is that this procedure is not covered by insurance and it’s not cheap. I am so hopeful that this procedure will work for me- the best case scenario is that I’ll be able to run again, but at this point I would take any improvement in my ability to walk and run around even a little with my kids.