Knowledge Center

Attic Accident

October 16, 2018
Eric after the Honolulu race.

Eric, a recent DOC guest, a marathon runner who ran seventeen marathons, 26.2 miles each, 445 miles total, not including roughly 2,000 training miles per year over a 20-year period, never suffered a running injury. Two weeks ago he fell out of his attic and suffered a tibial plateau fracture. He went to Direct Orthopedic Care. Dr. Darryl Thomas performed arthroscopically assisted surgery, treated the articular arthritis and used both PRP and stem cell therapy during surgery.

The guest posted a full video of his knee surgery and advice to his running friends. *Warning: Graphic Content – Viewer Discretion Advised* Patient’s Knee Surgery Video Here’s the inside view in full-motion video of my knee surgery yesterdayBTW, do turn up the volume to get the surgeon’s commentary. The repair job involves removing dead tissue, drilling holes in the top of the tibia to get marrow to leak onto the bone surface, injecting stem cells, and re-injecting my own blood plasma, spun down to make it platelet rich to speed healing. An advanced technique that’s got FDA approval but isn’t yet something insurance will typically cover. But cheaper than a total knee replacement in another 15-20 years, I’m sure. Shout out to Dr. Darryl B Thomas and his colleagues at Direct Orthopedic Care – Austin who did the fine work here. And a shout out to all my running buddies who may need this themselves when they get up to my mileage level.”

A tibial plateau fracture is a break in the upper part of the tibia (shinbone) that also involves the knee joint. In addition to the broken bone, soft tissues (skin, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments) may be injured. As shown in the surgery video, arthroscopy is useful to assist and control the fracture reduction and to treat soft-tissue injuries. Dr. Thomas used a radio frequency device to cleanup fibers and worn-out articular cartilage. Under Eric’s kneecap, the cartilage was worn off the patella caused by years of running. Dr. Thomas drilled small holes on the plateau a few millimeters apart in order for both the blood and stems cells to have access to the site. During surgery, Dr. Thomas injected PRP and stem cells into the surgery site. PRP was obtained by a simple blood draw from Eric, centrifuged to create a concentration of platelets with growth factors. Stem cells were harvested from the Eric’s bone marrow in the pelvis area, aspirated and centrifuged to separate the stem cells. Stem cells can miraculously change into any cell type. PRP and stem cell injections result in bone and soft tissue healing and regenerate cartilage in the knee. Eric will run again in the future, but in the meantime, he should replace the attic stairs.

For more information on the cost of care, click here.

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