Skip to Main Content
Make an Appointment

You’ve Got the Power: What To Do If Your Knee Replacement Surgery Is Cancelled



Dr Jason Deitch

Hello, I’m Dr. Jason Deitch, and today I’m here with Dr. Chris Centeno, founder of Centeno-Schultz Clinic and founder of the Regenexx Network. They are known as really the industry leaders of regenerative orthopedics. Dr. Chris Centeno is the founder. He’s been doing this longer than almost everyone out there. He has seen the future of regenerative orthopedics.

Today, we’re asking the question: “What do you do if your knee replacement surgery has been cancelled because of the epidemic? – because of the rush to people during this Covid-19 pandemic to the hospital?”

Millions of people have been displaced, many of them with knee replacement surgeries that have been cancelled.

Dr. Centeno, tell us, what do people do if they have been planning on having an elective orthopedic surgery of some sort that’s been cancelled?  What do we do in today’s day and age about that? How do we think about what our options are going to be moving forward?

Dr. Chris Centeno

Yeah. Jason, thanks for talking to me about all this. You know, I think that there’s a couple different things we have to think about.

The first thing we have to think about is obviously [that] the hospitals right now are where the action  – really the front line of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Now, that’s wonderful because they’re gearing up to try to save as many lives as they can. And, on the downside, for someone obviously who doesn’t have severe Covid-19, and who needs a knee replacement, is — obviously going into the hospital right now is not possible — but even once they start opening back up, those hospitals are going to be concentrators for the virus.

So we’re not going to be dealing with this for a few weeks or even a few months.  Off and on, we’re going to be dealing with it for probably the next two years. So, I think this is a great time to start re-evaluating whether or not you really needed that knee replacement in the first place.

There’s some interesting knee replacement facts. There was a randomized controlled trial, which is a big fancy research study done a number of years ago, and what it showed was that they needed to actually amputate about six knees and insert prostheses – that means that 6 replacement surgeries, in order to have one person who reported more than a 15 percent functional improvement. So the results were not that good. In fact, the results were pretty poor. So this is a great time to re-evaluate whether or not you need to go into that hospital, to get that knee replacement surgery. And that’s what we offer at Regenexx. We offer nonsurgical solutions using your body’s own stem cells to try to replace the need for that big surgery.

And there’s really no better time to start re-evaluating that thought process, because, again, we’re going to be dealing with this for for the next two years, off and on. And the hospitals are on the front lines. They’re doing a great job, and they need to be on those front lines. But we’re gonna start to have to re-evaluate whether or not we want to take elective surgeries at the hospitals anymore, at least for the time being.

Want to Get Back to What You Love, Without Surgery and Medication?

Dr. Deitch

I think  — my prediction is — the health care system is going to radically change for years to come – probably forever. It will never look the same as it did before.

The pressures that are on our current system are obviously the whole point of, you know, bending the curve and keeping it down. And that’s just with those people that need emergency care. What’s going to be fascinating is what happens to the millions of people that have been suffering with musculoskeletal conditions of all kinds, let alone orthopedic knee conditions that need to find solutions. Talk to us more about, I guess, the difference between what perhaps was thought of as sort of standard care with dangerous drugs, in some cases ineffective surgeries vs. regenerative orthopedics using ortho biologics, which are really just fancy names for using the healing cells of your body to heal your own body.

Just give us sort of a really simple understanding, without getting too technical, as to how do we think about why that actually might have been a better approach to begin with.

And perhaps this cancellation may, in fact work out to most of our favor when it comes down to getting our knees working well again for the foreseeable future. Why might this actually be a benefit for those people under this circumstance?

Dr. Centeno

Yeah, well, I think in many different ways it could be a big benefit. First, you have to think about what normally happens prior to a knee replacement, right? The doctor puts you on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Well, there has been an ongoing spirited debate, in the medical community, as to whether or not putting anyone on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Motrin and Aleve, Celebrex – all of those – ibuprofen, Advil, is even a good idea right now because there’s some thought that it might actually make the course of the virus worse.

And then you’ve got the whole idea of – what’s next, after that? Well, it’s usually a steroid shot –  a high dose steroid shot in the knee, and oftentimes several of them. Well, we’ve known for many years that those high dose steroid shots inhibit and depress the patient’s immune system. And, in fact, and as an example, there are multiple studies that show if you give someone a high-dose steroid shot, for instance, in their hip, and then they go on to need a hip replacement, they’re more likely to get an infection from that hip replacement because you’ve inhibited their immune system.

And, if there ever was a time that you need your immune system, this is it. You need to have it at tip-top shape in order to fight this virus and create antibodies. So we don’t want – and we shouldn’t be – injecting knees with steroids anymore, at least not until this whole thing is over. Not to mention steroids break down cartilage which has been shown in large studies. So there’s that whole — you know, what was traditionally done, against our now alternate or new reality. It’s not going to work anymore.

We’ve got to start using the patient’s own body to try to heal that knee and to push the need for that knee replacement as far down the road as possible because it’s going to be a long time before the hospitals move off the front line and can really focus on this type of care.

Dr. Deitch

And it’s really true. I mean, you’ve been doing this for 15 years; you’re celebrating an amazing anniversary of how long you’ve been dedicated – again, I’m going to keep it simple – to helping people understand that their body can heal itself, that there are ways to use the body’s own natural healing factors. Your body’s cells that are designed to heal your body. Again, your body’s cells to heal your body is really sort of the most natural, holistic approach to this whole thing. Maybe it took this disaster for us to sort of reflect on what is the least invasive and most effective way for us to heal ourselves. This is really giving us an opportunity to do that.

I know you have, I believe it’s at, a series of different types of videos, a book you’ve written, a virtual book you can download to really learn more about how your body can heal itself using regenerative orthopedics and orthobiologics. Anything specific you want to say specific to knees? Or maybe let’s just have people go and learn more as everybody is learning what else they should be binge-watching.

Or maybe you’re turning off the TV and actually reading some things again for a change, besides social media posts. Orthopedics 2.0 – do you want to talk about that a bit?

Dr. Centeno

Yes, the Orthopedics 2.0 book I wrote many years ago, and it’s been updated several different times, on this idea that you could use your body to heal your body. That, really, what we do in orthobiologics is we take some healing cells that are not being used in one place and we put them into a place where they need to be used.

In addition to that, we’ve got a knee-specific book, a shoulder-specific book, a spine-specific book, the orthopedic — I’m sorry, the website — has more than three thousand pages of content, and I’ve done hundreds of videos on just about everything on my YouTube channel. So this is a great time to start diving into that stuff at That’s R, E, G, E, N, E, X, And they’ll be obviously links here. But to really, you know – listen, you can only binge watch so much stuff.

And, you know, I know a lot of the studios are trying to push stuff out right now because they know people are going to be home for months with all of this. But, at some point you start saying, “OK, what’s next? What can I do?” And, again, this is a great time to intervene in that thought process that you really needed that knee replacement, because guess what? There’s about an 80 percent chance you really didn’t. And this is not the time to be going into the front lines of the war on Covid-19 to try to replace your knee.

It’s a time to be thinking about what else is out there that might get me where I need to be.

Dr. Deitch

Yeah, and that’s really what today’s program was all about. If you or anyone you know or love was scheduled for a knee replacement surgery, was considering a knee replacement surgery, or has just been suffering with chronic pain in your knees, and, maybe you’ve had some imaging done or need some imaging done, please take this time and really learn more about your body.

Learn more about the different pathologies – meaning the different types of damage that’s done. Because the more you know about your body, the more you know how to best take care of your body. And there have been remarkable results at the Regenexx Network clinics, of people who again, use their body to heal their body. There’s no more natural way than allowing your body to heal itself from within. Working with a regenerative orthopedist, who’s been specially trained through the Regenexx network [which] really is the place to find the type of regenerative orthopedist that’s going to be best to help you.

Dr. Centeno, any closing thoughts with what to do at home during this time? Should they be walking more, walking less — are there stretches, exercises, things to do at home? Or is that something that they should be getting on a Telehealth session with one of the Regenexx doctors to actually get more specific recommendations based on their specific condition?

Dr. Centeno

Yeah, I think a Telemedicine visit is perfect. Realize that the world has also shifted with regard to Telehealth and Telemedicine. You know, it used to be that you would drive — get in your car, drive someplace – you know – drive across a busy town in order to get to an appointment. And, you know, if you had kids, you had to get a babysitter, etc..  Now that world has shifted.

Now doctors, including our Regenexx network, can get with you online. They can order tests. We can now practice across state lines. So, this is a unique time where we can get you on a Telemedicine visit. We can decide what’s going on with you. We can order the MRIs that are needed if you don’t have them, or the x rays. But, in addition to that, we can diagnose your problem and give you some recommendations for things you can do at home.

So, as an example, sometimes knee pain can be due to what’s happening in your low back.  And you might not have a lot of back pain, but maybe it’s off and on, but it’s really your back that’s causing your knee. And what can you do to help your back that might help that knee pain? So, we can give you that kind of advice, and you don’t need to go anywhere. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home, over a Telemedicine visit with your Regenexx doctor, to figure out how best to weather the storm right now.  And, when things open back up, how best to stay out of those hospitals, to stay away from the frontline of the war on Covid-19, while you are working in order to solve your problem and use your body to heal itself.

Dr. Deitch

We are [on] Facebook live right now and we are getting questions. And one of the questions, Doc, is can you help my torn rotator cuff?

So, today we are talking knee replacement in this particular episode. We will be doing other episodes related to other specific joints, but since the question was asked, this principle of using the body to heal the body in different joints, like the knees, applies to all types of joints. True?

Dr. Centeno

It does. We treat lots of rotator cuff tears. So, about 70 percent of rotator cuff tears can be healed or treated this way with a precise-injection of your own platelets or stem cells. And, in fact, we just published a high-level research study on this – a randomized controlled trial. And that trial continues. But we do it all day, every day. So, again, if you were thinking about getting that shoulder rotator cuff repaired, if you’re going to do that, stay away from the frontlines of the war while you’re doing it.

Dr. Deitch

Yeah. Thank you for your question. On behalf of Dr. Chris Centeno. I’m Dr. Jason Deitch. Our message for you is: “Stay safe, but be smart.” Now’s the time for you to learn about your body. Learn how it works. Learn how it breaks down. And learn the natural organic solutions and options you have available to you.

The traditional medical system, obviously, right now is busting at its seams with frontline emergency care. So for those of you that have orthopedic conditions – musculoskeletal conditions, joint issues, back issues, neck issues – and you want help, your next best step is to get on a Telehealth session with a Regenexx doc to learn more about your condition, what options you have available, what you can do for yourself at home to ease the pain until it’s appropriate to come in for a procedure.

Closing thoughts, Dr. Chris?

Dr. Centeno

You know, I think that that does it nicely. Listen – great time to rethink your need for a knee replacement or a shoulder surgery or a back surgery and start doing some research. Use this time at home to really educate yourself because an educated patient always gets better much more quickly, and much more thoroughly, than that one that’s not.  So great time to educate yourself.

There you go. On behalf of Dr. Chris Centeno, I’m Dr. Jason Deisch. Thank you for watching. Stay safe, everyone.

Dr. Centeno

Stay safe.


Download your free copy of Dr. Chris Centeno’s groundbreaking work on knee health and how Interventional Orthopedics can help you avoid life-altering surgery.