Let me introduce myself. I am Dr. Jim’s right shoulder. I have been the body part that has delivered the sensation of acute and chronic pain to my owner for three decades. I caused so much pain that he threatened to have me “replaced.” I did my best work when we were younger. My being on the right and dominant side, I believe I was overused. My left mirror image partner did not have it so rough. I always did most of the work. I was better at throwing baseballs, footballs, painting ceilings, and the ever-dreaded occasional arm-wrestling matches. I was able to recover from whatever job Jim threw at me. Nothing lasts forever.
I used to have a rotator cuff of muscles that guided and protected my movements. Jim tore those in our twenties. I told him that he was hurting me, and he would ease up a bit on my workload. Eventually, I started to have trouble finding my proper resting place, and I was labeled “chronically” dislocated. The chiropractor would adjust me back into “my place,” but I was unable to repair the damage. When I was younger, I was able to repair. He even put steroids into me. That shut me up for a day or two but turned off all my self-healing powers. Eventually, I degenerated and was stuck in a painful cycle of pain and disuse. I could not even help put on the deodorant without screaming. That is when the real help came along. Jim investigated available newer options; he needed to help me return to my former glory OR operate on me. He considered a reverse shoulder replacement, and that meant that I would be removed forever…. UNLESS…
Fortunately, my boss knew he would try anything before the drastic, yet recommended by orthopedic surgeons, permanent removal. When he showed my pictures around to his friends, I heard, “Wow, that’s the worst-looking shoulder I've ever seen.”It was his fear of getting cut open and having a surgeon saw out worn-out bones, and ultimately my good luck, that he started paying attention to what we today call REGENERATIVE MEDICINE.
When I was younger, and any of my parts were stretched or torn, I would get inflamed, and that process would be the “shout” for help that my body “heard.” My body sent in repairing cells, and those cells released bubbles of messages to recruit even more repairing cells. The team fixed whatever was injured. As I aged and continually called for help, I think the message got weaker, and my repairing cells became more and more “deaf” to my messages.
At the age of 58, I got a birthday present. I was given an injection of extracellular vesicles. The bubbles of messages that attract repairing cells in this simple injection amplified the attention of my body’s ability to regenerate and repair worn-out parts.
At first, we were both as skeptical as our orthopedic consultants. We were told this stuff was garbage and witchcraft. I guess it is not the surgeon’s fault...there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. Many mistakenly believe that PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) and bone marrow aspirated stem cell treatments are still “cutting edge” regenerative treatments.
Three months after the injection, I could move with much less pain, and my range of motion was better. I was no longer the “bum” shoulder. We started to play baseball and throw a football around again. Arm wrestling, however, was not in my repertoire. Our golf game was less painful, although his short game continued to be “all over the place.” The brain is to blame for the numbers on the scorecard.
It is now three years later. I am happier, although I still look bad on camera.
I only needed one injection. That injection changed our lives. While it was only 2 ccs of fluid—that amount of fluid contained 20 billion extracellular vesicles.
I avoided surgery.