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23 Years Later: Could Stem Cells Have Saved Bo Jackson's Football Career From Avascular Necrosis?

Dr. Dennis Lox has personally spoken with those familiar with Jackson's case and suggests that stem cells can treat AVN and possibly regenerate bone.

CLEARWATER, FL, USA, June 14, 2014 / -- 23 Years have passed since Bo Jackson was tackled by Cincinnati Bengal Kevin Walker. The tackle, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of intensity, would prove to be Jackson's last - ending his professional football career.

Dr. Dennis Lox, an expert in sports and regenerative medicine, has been asked about, and also pondered the question of, whether regenerative medicine options (such as stem cells) could have prolonged, or possibly saved, Bo Jackson's football career.

Dr. Lox has treated many patients who developed traumatic Avascular Necrosis (AVN) with stem cell therapy and has personally spoken with those familiar with Jackson's case. Initially, the injury was felt to be a hip strain. But, after failing to heal in a timely fashion, it was later diagnosed as a case of Avascular Necrosis. AVN occurs when the blood flow to a bone is disrupted leading to bone cell death (necrosis). The most common cause of AVN is trauma - something professional athletes can see on a regular basis. In Jackson's case, his hip ultimately degenerated and collapsed. This lead to a hip replacement, and he never played football again.

If diagnosed early, Dr. Lox states, it is possible to treat the area of AVN with stem cells and in some cases regenerate the affected bone(s). Dr. Lox also points out that the secondary degeneration can be halted with stem cell treatment. It is not clear why some athletes sustain avascular necrosis (AVN) and rapidly progress while others don't.

"It is academic to point to the certainty of whether stem cells used early on to treat Bo Jackson would have allowed him to play another season," said doctor Lox. "Yet, it certainly would have been wonderful to see."

Few athletes can return from surgery for AVN, which makes the prospects of stem cell therapy appealing to many.

Other Professional Athletes Who Have Suffered From Avascular Necrosis (AVN) Include:

Floyd Landis, the cyclist who won the 2006 Tour de France, had such severe hip AVN that his joint collapsed. He eventually had a hip replacement which ended his career.

Mike Napoli, the Boston Red Sox first baseman, was as lucky. After signing a 3year $ 39 million contract he was forced to take a serious pay cut after a routine physical also revealed hip AVN. Napoli remains without symptoms.

Ray Emery, an NHL goalie also had hip AVN and opted for a difficult and lengthy surgical process with a fibular graft. The recovery was arduous, however he returned to play.

Brett Favre was found on a routine team physical to also have hip AVN after being traded by the Falcons to the Packers in 1992. Despite team physicians urging against the trade, then general manager Ron Wolfe, opted to go with Favre, and the rest is history. Favre only complains of occasional hip pain and restricted range of motions.

Dr. Lox has treated numerous athletes with AVN that returned to their sport, including an aspiring high school soccer player who had AVN in her ankle who is now back on the field and working toward her dream of playing collegiate and professional soccer.

Dr. Dennis Lox serves patients in the greater Tampa Bay area, including, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, New Port Richey, Sarasota, Orlando and Spring Hill and can accommodate the needs of patients throughout Florida, the United States, the Western Hemisphere, and Europe, as well. To learn more about stem cell therapy and other regenerative services offered by Dr. Lox, call (727) 462-5582.

Jason Pedley
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