ACL injuries of the knee

Stem Cell Therapy for ACL Tears in the Knee

Scott Brandt, M.D. Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells for Joint & Soft Tissue Pain, Stem Cells for Knee

We have all heard of that all too familiar story of the epic powder day that’s ruined when a ski gets turned the wrong way, and the skier feels a pop in their knee followed by pain, swelling and a toboggan ride down to the nearest MRI scanner. The pop is a result of the rupture or partial rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament – ACL tear.

Similarly, mountain bikers, water skiers and other intensive summer enthusiasts can face a similar season-ending injury in the blink of an eye. Stem cell therapy for ACL tears has now been changing how the injured ligament may be treated and repaired.

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Contact our Vail or Denver office to find out if you could be a candidate for stem cell therapy.

Traditional & Modern Options for ACL Repair

Until recently, the next decision for the patient was typically – should I schedule my surgery now or later? When considering this decision, one must understand the long-term ramifications of a surgical repair. Studies have shown that 2/3rds of patients that have undergone ACL surgery will experience significant arthritis in the repaired joint years later. This may be due to the introduction of a new ligament that is not at the exact angle of the native ligament. This potentially changes the physics of joint motion causing expedited arthritic changes.

There is now another choice to be considered that can get you back to your passion in a fraction of the time, with less long term risks of knee arthritis. Stem cells from your own body injected into the damaged knee ligament are quickly changing the way we look at these season ending ACL tears in the knee. This choice consists of a minimally invasive 3-hour procedure, requiring no general anesthesia and a far less painful recovery.

patient testimonial stem cells for acl

Patient treated in Vail, Colorado, talks about his experience with using stem cells to heal a partial tear in his ACL and save the ski season.

Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

Candidates for Stem Cell Therapy for ACL Tears

When an ACL ruptures or tears, it is often only a partial tear with the outer sheath remaining intact, or only minimally retracted, which leaves the ligament still mostly in place. When this is the case, stem cell therapy for ACL injury can be an excellent means of repairing the damaged knee ligament. This state-of-the-art procedure allows the patient to return to some forms of exercise within several weeks and back to full activity within several months.

Stem Cell Injections for the Knee

A patient’s best chance of a successful knee recovery depends on the accurate delivery of an ample volume of stem cells to the injured ligament. The largest source of stem cells in one’s body is found in adipose (fat) tissue. With the use of a very high tech liposuction device to painlessly harvest the stem cells, a small amount of fat tissue is typically taken from the lower abdomen or flanks through a pair of tiny incisions. Bone marrow is additionally harvested from the iliac crest and is a rich source of growth factors and also contributes a small amount of stem cells as well. The regenerative solutions are consolidated using a multi-phase centrifugation process and concentrated for the injections for stem cell therapy for knees. During the injection, the stem cells are placed into the ligament under real time x-ray imaging. A needle is placed into the ACL sheath and contrast is injected to verify the proper location. The cells and growth factors are then injected into the damaged ligament as well as into other areas of the injured joint space.

After the Stem Cell Procedure for the Knee

The patient is discharged from ThriveMD’s Vail, CO facility the same day. They walk out on their own, with very little discomfort. Patients can typically return to work and daily activities within a day or two. Light non-impact, non-twisting activities can resume in approximately four weeks. The ligament can be potentially repaired in as little as 8-12 weeks and continues to improve over the course of 6-12 months.

What Patients Say

Results of stem cell therapy for ACL tear are commonly described by patients themselves. The following stem cell review was left on Facebook by a Vail, Colorado local who used stem cells to return to skiing:

“Early in the ski season I had a partial tear in my ACL and thought I would be out until the next year for sure. However after consulting with Thrive MD they informed me that I was a good candidate for stem cell therapy. I went through the procedure and went from barely being able to walk with crutches to walking comfortably and normally within three weeks! I was back at work quickly and just got back on the mountain recently. My knee feels very solid and I have ZERO issues with it. Thank you Thrive MD for saving my ski season!

*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

Next Step

If you believe you or someone you care about could be a candidate for stem cell therapy, please contact us today.

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John Beeman
John Beeman
23:05 08 Jan 17
I just wanted to give an update regarding the stem cell procedure performed by Dr. Brandt at Thrive about 3 years ago. My range of motion continues to improve--remarkable at 64.I skied 150k in 5 days last week and never iced my knee once. I can't remember skiing that many feet w/out having to ice in the last 20 years. The knee treated has been without an acl since I was 18 and is pretty severely arthritic,but I am getting better performance now than I have in recent memory. Thank you, Dr. Brandt!!
Laurel Wilkerson
Laurel Wilkerson
21:22 08 Aug 16
Great job by the Thrive MD team in Edwards. With a torn achilles tendon, I was really opposed to surgery. When I discovered Dr. Brandt and team, I was thrilled. They are most professional and explained every step of the process and procedure for treatment options. I am on the road to recovery, and I am so thankful to have discovered Thrive. Before you let an orthopedic doc operate, take the time to explore and discuss stem cell therapy. Thrive MD made the process easy and convenient. Thanks! One year later update - ankle is doing great. Skied 52 days in 2015-16. Hiking, biking and all are no problem. Great team of caring people who know their business.
Lisa Harris
Lisa Harris
15:59 02 Jan 17
After struggling with an Achilles injury for 1 1/2 years and trying everything to heal it - steroid, physical therapy, wearing a boot, no activity, stretching, etc - I decided to have stem cell therapy at It was a short procedure and an afternoon of post op recovery, which after 6-8 weeks, resulted in a full recovery from my injury. This seemed to finally stimulate blood flow and healing to an injury I had resigned myself to having forever. I highly recommend this procedure for tendon injuries like this one.
John Reilly
John Reilly
13:44 04 Nov 16
I saw Dr Brandt on 8/8/16 for a lower back stem cell injection. From the injection, I got a serious infection in my lower spine. As a result, I spent 2 days in the Vail hospital and have been on daily IV antibiotics for the past 8 weeks. A few weeks after the injection, I started feeling increased pain which was a different pain than before my injection. It was much sharper and a shooting pain. I communicated this information to Dr Brandt and his staff. There only response and treatment was stronger pain meds. oral and injected steroids (the worst thing to do when an infection is present). The pain became so intense and debilitating, I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Their team quickly discovered from listening to my symptoms and reviewing a new MRI that I had an infection. I also discovered from a search on DORA that over the past 13 years Dr Brandt's has a history of incidents with the DORA which regulates medical professionals. Over this time, his license was suspended for a period of time and is he currently practicing on probation through 2019. At one point, the AG said he was unfit to practice medicine.
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
03:55 14 Nov 16
I am a pain management physician myself. I am 52, and physically very active. I still play soccer competitively. Six months ago I suffered a hip injury with a labrum tear. Due to the pre-existing wear and tear, the only conventional treatment, which was offered to me was total hip replacement. I wanted to remain physically active and continue to play sports, so I decided that this is not the best option for me. I choose instead to try stem-cell therapy. Ten days ago I had my procedure done by Dr. Brandt, and since then I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his practice. Everyone in his office was extremely welcoming and put me at ease and comfort about my procedure. The procedure went very smooth. And I did not have ANY post procedure pain or discomfort. I had no need for any pain medication. I was back to work seeing patients on the 2nd day after the procedure. My hip already feels noticeably better. I have the second procedure scheduled in four weeks, and I am confident that in another 3-4 weeks I'll be back playing soccer again. Thank you, Dr. Brandt and team for taking such excellent care of me.
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