Massage Therapist Avoids Knee Replacement Through Stem Cell Treatment
With terrible knee pain, Terry Buyck had to ride in a wheelchair for last year’s cruise. She cried daily, for what she missed out on. After stem cell treatment at Ageless Wellness, she was able to walk and lost 43 pounds. At this year’s cruise, she danced with her husband.
Terry Buyck’s date with a knee surgeon was about to come due. At age 41 the massage therapist was told by a doctor that her painful knees, caused by the autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and also osteoarthritis, would one day require replacement. A decade later, Buyck couldn’t bend her knees at all and the pain had become unbearable.
“I’ve always been one of those people who helps others. I’m never one to ask for help,” Buyck says. “But when you’re in so much pain that you can’t function, it’s like your life has no purpose. What are you going to do?”
But the prospect of knee surgery terrified Bucyk, because she suffered an allergic reaction to metal plates and screws installed to repair a broken wrist five years ago.
“They had to take the plates and screws out, and I was scared to death to get the knee replacements,” she recalls. “What if I ended up being allergic to those too? I wouldn’t have any knees.
“I would try anything I could to avoid having knee replacements.”
That led Bucyk to the Stem Cell Center of Georgia at Ageless Wellness Center in Peachtree City, where Dr. Jamie Walraven specializes in treating degenerative, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases without the use of surgery or pharmaceuticals.
Stem cells are baby cells that have the potential to turn into any tissue in the body, including cartilage and bone, as well as muscle and nerves. At Ageless Wellness, adipocyte (fat derived) stem cells are harvested from a patient’s own fat through a mini liposuction. From there, an enzyme is added to break down the cell walls. A series of washes and concentration follows, which takes about an hour and a half.
What remains is about 8 to 12 ml of stem cells plus growth factors, called stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which is then injected directly into the areas that need healing. For Buyck, that meant injections in both knees and a wrist. She also had injections of platelet rich plasma, or PRP. The entire process is done in about four hours.
“I was very nervous. I’m not a good patient and get very skittish,” Buyck admits. “But Dr. Walraven and her staff were very good at talking me through the procedure and explaining how things would be done. One of the things that impressed me the most is when we all gathered around and held hands and prayed.”
The results aren’t always immediate, as the new cells need time to regenerate and grow. Within two months, Buyck’s wrist had stopped hurting completely and the left knee was fully functional again within four months. It took awhile longer for the right knee to heal, but a full year later it is now pain-free and fully functional as well.
“It’s amazing! My life has turned around completely around,” Buyck says. “At one time, I couldn’t bend my knees at all. Now I’m actually able to squat down and get in the floor with my grandson. A year ago, I went on an Alaskan cruise in a wheelchair. This year I was tearing up the dance floor.”
Ageless Wellness has helped Buyck’s body heal in other ways as well. When she mentioned having trouble sleeping, Walraven’s staff ran some blood tests and discovered she was allergic to three foods common in her diet.
“They told me if I stayed away from those things I would sleep better and it worked,” she says. “I was able to drop 43 pounds just by doing away with things in my diet that were causing inflammation in my gut and making it difficult to sleep.”
Buyck says she may eventually require knee replacements after all, but for now the stem cell and PRP treatments are working.
“It saved me. I got my life back.”
Ageless Wellness Center is located at 1000 Commerce Drive, Suite 300, Peachtree City. Ageless Wellness is a member of the Cell Surgical Network. For more information or to make an appointment, call 678-364-8414 or visit their website at agelesswellnessptc.com