Naples orthopaedic surgeon tests A2M injections on his own knee
NAPLES, Fla. (October 23, 2014) - The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics is offering a revolutionary biologic solution to knee arthritis that serves as a viable alternative to total knee replacement surgery. “This is a real treatment for arthritis that alters the natural progression of the disease,” says Robert J. Zehr, MD, about the alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M) injections now available at the Zehr Center.
“The science is fabulous. An arthritic knee (and all arthritic joints) makes several chemicals that destroy the articular cartilage, which is the essence of osteoarthritis. However, our bodies make a protein, alpha-2-macroglobulin, in a relatively large quantity and it circulates in our blood. A2M binds (captures) these “bad” chemicals produced in the knee and neutralizes their degenerative effect,” Dr. Zehr explains. “The problem is that the naturally occurring A2M cannot cross into the arthritic joint in any quantity sufficient to achieve a positive effect.”
This problem is resolved by injecting concentrated A2M, derived from the patient’s own blood, directly into the knee joint. The product has been in research and development for approximately 10 years by Cytonics Corporation, a Jupiter, Florida-based private orthopedics research and development company. Recently approved by the FDA for clinical trials, the treatment is available through a select few physicians. The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics is the only orthopedic practice on the west coast of Florida approved by Cytonics to offer the treatment.
Encouraged by his personal experience with it, Dr. Zehr has been carefully monitoring the Zehr Center patients who have received the A2M therapy. So far, the biologic treatment has been a remarkable success, with only one patient proceeding to total knee replacement surgery. “My knee has not felt this good in years!” says Dr. Zehr. “For those of us involved in the care of the arthritic patient, this is really a huge advancement.”
Neither Medicare nor private insurance companies cover the cost of the injections at this time. Still, interest in A2M is growing rapidly. Dr. Zehr explains why. “The Centers for Disease Control estimates that some 27 million adult Americans are afflicted with osteoarthritis. Furthermore, it is estimated that 1 in 2 adults will get symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime. With the combination of the aging Baby Boomer population, increased longevity of U.S. citizens and the obesity epidemic, the rising prevalence of osteoarthritis is expected to contribute even more heavily to the severe health and economic effects already present. Osteoarthritis often causes weakness and disability, interferes with work productivity, and often results, ultimately, in joint replacement.”
For more information on A2M biologic treatment for osteoarthritis call the Zehr Center at 239-596-0100. Read a detailed explanation of this revolutionary new treatment on our website.
About Dr. Robert J. Zehr: Robert J. Zehr, MD is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics, a private orthopaedic surgery practice located in Naples, FL. He specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery, complex revision joint surgery, arthroscopy and skeletal tumor and trauma reconstruction. He is experienced in the direct anterior approach to hip replacement and is skilled in custom aligned total knee replacement techniques. Dr. Zehr has over 25 years of orthopaedic experience in complex joint reconstruction and rehabilitation.