Cyclist Avoids Hip Replacement With Stem Cell Treatment
Phil Gillman is always on the go. As the owner of a small business, he is constantly on his feet and walks six miles in a single day. An avid cyclist, it’s not uncommon for him to bike 200 miles or more in a single week.
Like many active people over 50, however, degenerative disease has led to increasing pain in Gillman’s joints. In September 2015, it got so bad that he underwent surgery to resurface his left hip.
“Recovery from the hip resurfacing was pretty hard core,” Gillman says. “I was on crutches for seven weeks and taking serious pain medication that I did not like. It was awful.”
The Bad News:
A year later, Gillman’s doctor gave him news he didn’t want to hear: The right hip was going bad and would soon need surgery as well.
“I told him that my right hip felt completely fine and wasn’t giving me any trouble,” Gillman laughs. “But he assured me I was going to be back in there getting another replacement.”
And the doctor was right. Soon, Gillman was in pain.
Faced with the prospect of another painful surgery and extended recovery, Gillman began exploring stem cell treatments as an alternative. He was considering a trip to Louisville, Ky., to have the procedure done. Then a friend told him about Dr. Jamie Walraven and the Stem Cell Center of Georgia, operating out of Ageless Wellness Center in Peachtree City.
Gillman called and scheduled a consultation right away.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are baby cells that can turn into any tissue in the body, including cartilage and bone, and thus are an effective option for many people who have arthritic pain and are told they need a joint replacement.
At the Stem Cell Center of Georgia, Walraven uses adipocyte-derived stem cells harvested from the patient’s own fat, which are then put through a series of washes and concentrations before being deployed back into the body.
The Good News:
For Gillman, the results to his right hip were almost immediate. Pain subsided and mobility increased. Instead of being on crutches for seven weeks like he was with his left hip, he was riding a bike for 25 miles within three days.
“Stem cells have made a huge difference,” Gillman says. “Before I was always in pain, even watching television. It hurt to go to dinner. It hurt doing just about anything. But all my joints run smoother now, whether I’m hiking, biking or just sitting in my car.”
The key to successful stem cell treatment, Gillman advises, is to catch the symptoms early.
“You can’t wait until you can’t move and the joint feels like it’s 400 years old,” he jokes. “If you know that something’s going on, then go do it before it gets super bad and there’s no cartilage left in there at all.
Dr. Jamie Walraven concurs, “Although stem cells can be beneficial at any stage, it’s always better to start treatment earlier, when there has been less degeneration.”
In the two years since his initial stem cell treatment, Gillman has made several follow up visits to receive injections of platelet rich plasma. His only regret is that he lives in north Metro Atlanta, 75 miles from Peachtree City and the staff at Ageless Wellness.
“They are fantastic people, so caring and so genuine,” Gillman says. “I wish it weren’t such a long drive because I’d be there all the time.
Stem Cell Center of Georgia operates within the Ageless Wellness Center at 1000 Commerce Drive, Suite 300 in Peachtree City. For more information or to schedule a free phone consultation, call 678-364-8414 or visit their website at agelesswellnessptc.com.