Atlanta, GA | Jaw Replacement With Her Own Stem Cells | Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta

A TMJ recovery story. Facing a jaw replacement, Valerie turned to Regenexx® and was treated using her own stem cells and platelet rich plasma.

Transcription

Valerie:
Exactly two years ago today I fell down, crushed the upper and lower part of my second lumbar disc. About 10 days later I yawned and completely dislocated my jaw. My jaw was like over here. I had to blend everything I ate for 18 months. Since I was 16 I've had TMJ issues. Doctors up here in New Hampshire who told me I needed a total jaw replacement. I went to Boston and the experts there told me that I needed a total jaw replacement.

Dr. Christopher Centeno:
So Valerie is a nurse practitioner, so she had researched her options quite a bit and really it was an artificial joint that even the surgeons weren't all that excited about or it was this. And we were pretty much it because as she looked on the internet, she wasn't seeing anything with regard to the new regenerative medicine procedures like PRP and stem cells and TMJ. In addition, she had problems in her neck, her back. So even if she saw a dentist who might do some of those injections for her TMJ, they couldn't really deal with her neck and her back.

Valerie:
Dr Centeno, after I spoke to him, I realized he was the only one in the country that would work with jaws. So I had to travel to Colorado from New Hampshire for each of the five treatments. I had always been kind of crooked, all the treatments that I needed to have done, which started at my coccyx and went all the way up to the base of my skull, every time I went with the platelet rich plasma injections. And then eventually the stem cell. All of that tightened me up and lined me up and I'm straight now. I'm straight. It's great, and when you're straight, you're stronger and I can walk now with so much more energy. He went into each individual ligament. I had about 40 injections all the way up and down, and they got stronger. One thing that really sets Regenexx apart is that they use both ultrasound and fluoroscopy, which is that real time x-ray to image exactly where they're going.

Dr. Christopher Centeno:
So the procedure that we did for the ligaments that hold her head on, at the time Valerie got it, it only had been done three or four other times in history really, and we had done all three or four of those procedures. So this is an MRI of someone's neck and head there. You can see that we've got the brain up here. We've got the mouth in this area. So in order to do this very precise injection, literally a needle is passed through the back of the throat into the ligaments in the upper neck, the ones that hold the head on.

Dr. Christopher Centeno:
Now this was a brand new procedure that we invented to be able to help these ligaments that hold the head on using the patient's own stem cells. When we first started to look at how we would get to these ligaments, it was really difficult to do because there's a little space in the joint up front. Now we didn't know if that space was a figment of the imagination of the model makers until we actually tried to thread a 25 gauge needle through it to get to these ligaments. And then we knew that it could be done.

Valerie:
My back pain is completely gone. It was gone after the stem cells were delivered. After that procedure, within a month, I was able to chew again.