Abigail was unable to fully participate in her favorite sports because of a bone problem in her knee. After going through a regenerative procedure at our partner clinic, Harbor View Medical, and completing physical therapy, her bone is significantly healed and she’s able to return to an active lifestyle.
Abigail: I was restricted before the procedure into what I could do and how much I could do but now I’m just really able to enjoy everything. I’m Abigail, I’m fourteen years old and I’m involved in volleyball, basketball, softball. Being active is really important to me because I feel I’m good at it and it’s fun.
Christina [Abigail’s mom]: Abigail– very active, very active girl. Who has some athletic gifts – definitely noticed some differences really at a very young age. In my opinion, way too young to have injuries at 12 and 13 years old –
Abigail: The first time I noticed my injury was the summer of my 6th grade year – I was training for a 5K and I was having some trouble training. When I was playing basketball – that was one of my favorite things to do, and I was having trouble playing some defense.
Christina: At first we thought it was Osgood-Schlatter, treated that for about 6 to 9 months, then kinda found out her hip was out of alignment, so went that route – was really hopeful that that, that getting that hip back in check would fix everything – and that did help quite a bit – but the knee never quite came around.
Dr. Jackson: She saw an orthopedic surgeon and was diagnosed with an osteochondral defect and what that is is a little divot out of the bone. An MRI shows you the damage to the bone – this is the little divot out of the bone with a lot of swelling around it. The parents and Abigail opted against surgery. They wanted to find out about additional treatment options, so they came here to Harbor View.
Abigail: Dr. Jackson walked me through the entire procedure like while it was going on.
Christina: I thought the staff was wonderful in explaining to her exactly what was going to happen and what she would feel – and how she could get through the pain that was there when the bone marrow was getting taken out – and I just can’t say enough great things. They did a fabulous job. Mid-season of Fall softball we did notice that she wasn’t limping any longer when she was running the bases – and it wasn’t just myself that noticed, it was other people that came up to us and said, “Wow, Abby’s looking great running.” So we definitely knew that there was improvement pretty early on.
Abigail: But then basketball season was really when I saw lots of improvements.
Christina: So she comes home after the second day of practice of school ball and was super excited–
Abigail: –and I came home excited one night because well I was like, “I can play defense.”
Christina: –and goes, “Mom, I can play defense again. This is going to be great.” And that’s when we really knew that the stem cell procedure was working.
Dr. Jackson: A year after her procedure you can see that there is significant improvement. You can see the damage to the bone with a lot of swelling adjacent to that divot out of the bone – and here significant improvement and that bone is filling back in. I anticipate that she will continue to have improvement because she’s still growing. So she still has more ability to self-repair than the majority of us – definitely all of us that have stopped growing, and so a year from now I am hoping to see that this bone has completely closed in. I know Abigail is doing extremely well, she’s back to full competition with no pain. The other issue here was that she had a significant bio-mechanical defect. She had that typical valgus deformity so the knees will come in when they jump or run and she had that. The physical therapist that we worked with was able to correct that, and that has helped her tremendously.
Abigail: After the procedure I really noticed good things in basketball because I was able to play lots of defense and like my shuffling and side to side movements were improved a lot and my right handed layups were pretty good because I was able to jump off my left leg. I was happy.
Christina: A year ago, there was some question as to really how limited she would be, and again just knowing how – how it is one of her passions. Today, we don’t–we don’t think there’s any limitations at least based on her knee. Now it’s really up to her, right? How much she wants to work at it and what she wants to do
Abigail: I was really happy that I got this procedure so that I can continue to be active my entire life.
Like all medical procedures, Regenexx procedures have a success and failure rate.
Not all patients will experience the same results.