After visiting The Ozzie Smith Center last month, 101ESPN radio host, Randy Karraker, asked Cincinnati Reds team doctor, and world renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Timothy Kremchek, to join him for a live interview on the use of stem cell and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments as alternatives to surgery. His response, “The use of stem cells and PRP is absolutely incredible. Not just for athletes, but for aging populations and for injuries that were never able to be completely cured before. We are onto something very, very big here.”
During the interview, Dr. Kremchek shares his expert opinion and experience on stem cell and PRP treatments as utilized at the Ozzie Smith Center. Kremchek is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. A 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Dr. Kremchek completed fellowships in total joint reconstruction and sports medicine in both Boston and Birmingham, AL, at the Alabama Sports Medicine Institute under the tutelage of Dr. Jame Andrews. His passion for sports medicine is obvious, since he has been the Medical Director for the Cincinnati Reds and their minor league affiliates since 1996. Dr. Kremchek specializes in the advanced open and arthroscopic treatment and reconstruction of the shoulder, elbow and knee.
Karraker mentions Angels’ starting pitcher, Garrett Richards, who recently chose stem cell treatment instead of Tommy John surgery and just last week was cleared to pitch since having his treatment May 16th. Cbssports.com reporter, Matt Snyder’s headline on August 15th read, “‘Garrett Richards cleared to throw after stem-cell treatment shows ‘improvement.”’ Snyder adds, ‘”Wow. That’s not even something vague like ‘well, he’s making progress.’ Richards is straight-up cleared to start throwing the ball.”‘ Richards just gained potentially 9 months back of a career in which every day counts.
Kremchek is elated with the advancements in stem cell treatment options now available in the U.S. as they have cut down on the number of Tommy John surgeries he has to perform. “40% of the time we were doing surgery on guys that had pain in their elbow but the ligament looked good on MRI and ultrasound because we didn’t have anything else. You don’t want to operate on these guys. Now we don’t have to.” Even for the lesser injuries, he has seen a drastic change. “A lot of guys in the league that used to get cortisone shots for lesions are now getting PRP and stem cells and having a significant amount of success,” Kremchek reports.
When asked if stem cells and PRP were the first alternative for other injuries, Kremchek was adamant. “Absolutely. We are using stem cells and PRP for arthritis, all joints of the body and spine. We are just scratching the surface of stem cells.” He goes on to say, “Look at it like this, when you’ve injured some part of your body, the stem cells we are injecting are very immature cells that are turning into that same tissue. So the use of stem cells and PRP are absolutely incredible.”
You can listen to the entire interview below. The clip from 8:40-10:20 covers most of the stem cell application discussion. If you or anyone you know might benefit from the innovative stem cell or PRP treatments offered at the Ozzie Smith IMAC Regeneration Center, please contact one of our patient coordinators at (314) 200-4955 or email: [email protected]. You may also visit our website for additional information.