Q. What if I have a torn labrum or torn meniscus or a chondral lesion in my joint?
A. If the lesion is very large and unstable, we probably cannot help you without surgical repair or removal. However, most of the time, the lesions are not that big. For example, if the lesion is an unstable, herniated knee meniscus tear, there is a treatment protocol aimed at stabilizing the meniscus and healing the tear after the cells are injected on site. The joint is then braced for six to twelve weeks to help the meniscus heal in the right position. The most exciting results I have seen are on focal chondral lesions in younger adult and adolescent athletes. We are seeing excellent filling in of these smaller cartilage lesions and the avoidance of microfracture surgery. In my opinion, if faced with a decision to undergo stem cell injections or have surgery, surgery should always be a treatment of last resort.