Jamaal Charles recently revealed that he underwent stem cell treatment to speed up his recovery from his torn ACL in his right knee. He is very much determined to be back in the game at the beginning of the 2016 season.
Previously, Charles has had his ACL torn back in 2011 as well. He has a pretty great idea of how painful and long the recovery from this knee condition can be. This is why he opted for stem cell therapy that promises a faster and natural healing. The first injection containing his own stem cells was given to Charles during his ligament repair surgery. After six weeks, he got one more stem cell injection. This treatment works using a person’s own bone marrow, extracting the stem cells and injecting them in the point of injury.
“This is an orthobiologic era,” said Dr. Zaki Anwar, an orthopedic surgeon at Chicago Stem Cell Therapy Center. “Our aim is to find out the formula, the perfect cocktail to heal injuries quicker and better.”
Stem cell treatment has gained immense popularity among NFL players. However, the use of this treatment is very limited in the US. Being a relatively new treatment option, its effectiveness is still in question by many.
“Several studies show a positive outcome, but not all the studies,” Dr. Anwar said. “The research the effectiveness of stem cell in ACL reconstruction is in its initial phase, and we are only learning more and more things at this point of time.”
Dr. Anwar says the surgery that Charles explained resembles the kind of procedures he performs on patients himself. He pointed out that it is believed that this treatment has limited risk which makes it a better option. It’s a graft that will recover faster, better and stronger, which makes it worth it.
“Right now, there seem to be no risks,” Dr. Anwar said. “The procedures are well-tolerated and appear to be safe.”
Soon after getting the knee injury during the October match with the Chicago Bears, Charles went through a surgery by renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews. He’s the same doctor who repaired Charles’ torn ACL in 2011. He is aiming to return to the field for the 2016 regular season. Andy Reid, the coach of Kansas Chiefs confirms that Charles is moving ahead to do just that.
Recovering from an ACL injury can be a long and painful process. Thanks to stem cell therapy, a faster and safer recovery has becomes possible.