Brian Plaster is a 40-year-old Las Vegas native with a highly active lifestyle. He enjoyed a life filled with long distance, cross-country races as well as biking and snowboarding recreationally. That all changed after he sustained a critical knee injury.
“A year and a half ago I was snowboarding and I crashed into a tree,” Plaster said. “It was one of the worst snowboarding accidents I could ever imagine. I remember crashing into the tree and my knee was essentially flopping below my leg.”
Plaster was fearful that his injury would require surgical intervention and leave him unable to continue his active lifestyle.
“I wasn’t sure if I would run again, bike again. I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do.”
Plaster heard about CELLAXYS and their alternatives to surgical intervention. He scheduled an appointment and was introduced to Dr. Otten.
“Brian initially came to me with a high-grade sprain of his MCL, otherwise known as the medial collateral ligament,” Dr. Otten said. “This ligament creates stability in the knee and as Brian was a long-distance runner, this was hindering his ability to run ultra-marathons.”
Plaster was well aware that surgery might take away his ability to compete in marathons. He sought out Dr. Otten specifically to prevent surgical intervention.
“It was our goal in this particular situation to avoid [surgery] because, number one he has kids and he wants to be a dad and play, and number two, he was turning 40 and wanted to run a long 40 mile off-road race.”
That summer, Plaster came into the CELLAXYS offices. After some consultation and initial screening, Dr. Otten recommended adipose derived stem cells rather than bone marrow aspirate concentration.
“Adipose derived stem cells have a very high concentration and count of mesenchymal stem cells and have the ability to turn into tenocytes or tendon and ligament cells which is what Brian was after.”
The treatment was a success and after suffering through the accident in March, Brian was able to run again by September.
“Brian had done so well in three months that the brace was off,” Dr. Otten said. “He was running and walking on trails and performing daily activities without significant pain. He was even running high distances at that time.”
Dr. Otten was impressed with the results. He conducted a follow-up screening with Plaster to assess the outcomes of their treatment plan.
“The MRI at 6 months after the procedure showed only minimal changes of the MCL with just minimal swelling but complete resolution of the fibers and the tear,” Dr. Otten said. “For injuries with tendons and ligaments, stem cells have the real potential of negating the possibility of surgical intervention.”
Plaster has been pleased with the results and continues to lead the lifestyle he had before the injury.
“The injury got me a little more focused on these athletic activities and [3 months] after the procedure I was able to do a 40-mile race on my 40th birthday,” Plaster said. “Running 40 miles on my 40th birthday after destroying my knee prior to that is just a huge blessing for me.”