WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa.-- A newer procedure is helping to make old joints feel like new again. Stem cell therapy is treating damaged and worn away joints.
Lebanon County resident, Patsy White is seeing first hand the benefits of this procedure. She was having knee issues and was not able to walk comfortably.
"When we think about aging, we never thing about having problems with our legs," she said. "It just takes away your freedom."
It took a toll on White, not just affecting her physically.
"Affected my personality," White said. "Sometimes I didn't even want to be around people."
Chiropractic Athletic Center Founder and President Dr. Kevin Owens said she needed help.
"Pat was shuffling her feet," he said. "Her joints were so degenerative."
Dr. Owens was once in her shoes. He said his doctor told him he would need knee replacement because of the damage to it.
"Well, when you're in your late 30s, and you hear knee replacement and you're very active that's the last thing you want to do," Dr. Owens said.
Instead of getting his knees replace, he underwent stem cell therapy. This is where the stem cells are injected into a person's joint right at the area of discomfort. Unlike surgery there is no physical therapy and scaring. Dr. Owen's practice, in West Manchester Township, York County is one of the only in the area to do it. He said other clinics are afraid it will take away from replacement surgeries.
"Stem cells, when they come in contact with damaged or degenerative cells, they not only help to regrow those cells, but they start to multiply with those cells," Dr. Owens said.
These stem cells are not surrounded with controversy according to him. He said the cells come from the fluid that surround the baby without harming it. The cells are donated by women who underwent a c-section.
Patsy White underwent the treatment at Dr. Owen's clinic. She said each day, her knees are feeling better.
"It's getting better," she said.
Dr. Owens said the procedure is not for everyone. It helps people who suffer from minor damage to joint structure. He said most insurance companies don't cover the cost, which is about a couple thousand dollars. A joint replacement surgery is tens of thousands.