New hope for patients suffering from knee injuries

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New hope for patients suffering from knee injuries. Monica Malpass reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on August 9, 2018.

Knee injuries are one of the most common and troublesome injuries patients face.

Doctors have tried hundreds of solutions over the years, with varied success.

Now, some local doctors are finding promise in a patient's own bone marrow.

Julie Rogers has been athletic all her life.

"More than 2 decades of running in half-marathons and marathons, I did a lot of pounding to the knees," she said.

Switching to less jolting exercise, like Sculpt, keeps her fit, but doesn't erase the damage, especially in her left knee

Although two meniscus tears were repaired, she still suffered.

"There's a lot of stiffness in and around the knee first thing in the morning, after a day of being active," said Julie.

She was having a lot of swelling, pain," said Dr. Kelly Scollon-Grieve, Premier Orthopedics.

Dr. Scollon-Grieve suggested mesenchymal stem cell therapy.

It transfers extra stem cells to an injured area, to boost healing.

With Julie under local anesthesia, Dr. Scollon-Grieve uses a hollow probe to harvest bone marrow from her pelvis.

Then it's injected into her ailing knee, with ultrasound guidance.

The doctor says the marrow contains stem cells, as well as other growth factors.

"It doesn't regrow cartilage, per se, but it does help decrease pain and inflammation," said Dr. Scollon-Grieve.

After 2 months and physical therapy, Julie's left knee moves better.

She can do squats and lunges without wincing, and a minor limp is gone.

Dr. Scollon-Grieve says the procedure works best for mild to moderate arthritis.

"At least 75 percent of my patients have had significant relief," she said.

Julie adds, "Amazing, great and no swelling.
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