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Stem Cells and their Use – 610

What are stem cells and how are we using them in the knee?

Today on the SMB, we are joined by Dr. Evan Meeks who helps educate us on stem cells and their use.

What is New In Knees

Dr. Meeks explains that stem cells are found within the body and they can change into other types of cells.  They can be used to treat musculoskeletal injuries (ie regrow muscle, ligament or cartilage) However, Dr. Meeks cautions us that stem cells are a “new and budding area that has theoretically huge potential for the future but the science is still in the early stages.”

What can make you a good candidate for stem cell therapy?

Type and degree of injury are important factors when considering stem cell treatment as well as the patient’s age.

How are patients prepped for this procedure?

The best preparation we can give a patient is to educate them and to manage their expectations.  

Are there ethical issues regarding stem cell treatment?

The main ethical concern is embryonic stem cells.  However, currently, it is illegal to use embryonic stem cells for treatment.  They are only used for research. Dr. Meeks cautions that embryonic stem cells are unsafe right now.  They can turn into any type of cell and we can’t control it.

As secondary school athletic trainers will we encounter this often?

Dr. Meeks explains that it is pretty rare since or population is younger and still heals well.  He does say occasionally it can be used to help surgical outcomes with meniscus repair or bone stimulation.

What is Dr. Meeks’ prognosis for stem cell usage for the next 10-20 years?

“It will be the new frontier for musculoskeletal medicine.”

What one thing should AT’s know regarding stem cell treatment?

Dr. Meek’s feels stem cell treatment is the new pitch count in athletic training.  We must educate and disseminate the correct information.

About Dr. Meeks

Dr. Evan Meeks is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Dr. Meeks specializes in sports medicine with an emphasis on arthroscopy and minimally invasive techniques to treat injuries of the shoulder, hip, and knee. During his training, Dr. Meeks worked extensively with professional and college teams in the Houston area, including the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, and the University of Houston athletic program.

As a former college athlete, Dr. Meeks has the unique ability to see injuries from the perspective of both the athlete and the physician.

Contact us:

Dr. Evan Meeks – Evan.G.Meeks@uth.tmc.edu

Jeremy Jackson

Shawn Readyshawnreadyatc@gmail.com

Ray Olivorayolivo1@gmail.com

Dr. Mark Knoblauchmaknobla@Central.UH.EDU

Dr. Layci Harrisonlharris5@Central.UH.EDU

Bob MarleyBob.Marley@uth.tmc.edu

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