Treatment at Sanford restores woman’s mobility using injections from her own body

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s something we take for granted since the day we learn to walk, the joy to move freely and keep up with our activities.

But for Rhonda Petersen, those simple joys were taken from her, after the condition of her knee deteriorated so far, that she couldn’t continue hiking or chasing around her two grandkids.

“I was limping all the time and I couldn’t bend, so then my back would go out,” said Rhonda Petersen, who has been suffering chronic knee pain. “It was terrible going up and down steps. I couldn’t really do anything.”

However, her days of enjoying those hobbies are still ahead after undergoing a procedure that extracts bone marrow cells from her pelvis and injects it into her knee. It’s a newer procedure without a whole lot of data yet, however the results have been positive for younger patients looking for alternatives to knee replacement type procedures.

“Not only are we doing the procedure, but we’re really following the data that the patients give us on it so we can help to determine if this is something in the future,” said Dr. Bruce Piatt, an orthopedic surgeon at Sanford. “She goes from a person who’s really struggling with pain to a person who is much more active.”

For Petersen, the procedure has given back more than her hobbies and mobility.

“I can’t even describe what it means because yes people do take being pain-free for granted,” Petersen added. “It was kind of night and day. It was like all of a sudden I could walk. I started walking a mile then I was walking two miles, then I was walking three miles. It helps, regardless if it’s 30%, 50%, for me I feel like it was 100%.”

Petersen said her insurance would not cover the procedure, however Sanford said they offer it at cost. If you think the treatment could help you, contact a physician at the Sanford Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic.