Well, one member of our small community here who uses the handle gcoza posted this comment this week:
Today I went on my second MRI of my left knee. The first was prior 27 months and showed significant chondromalatia patella on the upper medial side of the patella in the area of 12x9 mm. New MRI medical report showed no sign of chondromalacia patella. Nothing!!!He even posted the before and after images of his knees here.
This is great news, but if the irregular cartilage has really filled in, I’m not that surprised. As I mention in my book, clinical studies show that cartilage defects can change A LOT over two years. Places where the cartilage is worn almost to the bone can suddenly look almost as good as new.
I can remember reading all this and thinking, “Damn, this is big. I’m reading all these articles and books about healing bad knees. Why doesn’t anyone mention this?” Instead, much of the prevailing thinking cleaved to a sort of “car part” model, if you will. That is, you could think of your knee cartilage like the tread on your brand-new tires. After time, it simply wears down.
It’s a simple, fatalistic, and profoundly flawed way to analogize about human bodies, which are full of cells that are constantly renewing. Hell, if we weren’t built that way, all of us would die of senescence at the age of three or so.
So congrats to gcoza. He is quick to note that he hasn’t beaten knee pain yet. He’s better, but still has a good way to go. But man, it must feel unbelievably good to stare at an MRI that essentially says, “Hey, all your hard work at recovery is paying off.”
Now, granted, that fill-in cartilage is probably of the inferior fibrocartilage variety that’s less durable than the original. But as I have mentioned before, over time fibrocartilage has been shown to begin to take on characteristics of normal hyaline articular cartilage.
Update: I feel that I should share this. Gcoza has now said that the MRI was faulty and that the cartilage didn't completely heal. Here are some excerpts from his latest comment:
Unfortunately, I went for another MRI because my orthopedist said that the pictures are not of sufficient quality. This time images are much better quality and revealed chondromalacia patella 1b.- 2 grade on both knees. Im feeling about the same. Neither better nor worse. Status quo. My next step would be stem cells treatment because I tried more-less every other possible option ... Conclusion is: chondromalacia is irreversible, but with time one can feel better. Now, three years from the beginning of my knee problems , constant pain was reduced by at least 50-70%, and the function of the knee is also improved by at least 50%. Now I can squat. Three years ago I could not walk up and down stairs.Okay, so this isn't the success story I was hoping for. However, he has reduced his pain and improved the function of his knee. That's some progress. Getting better can take a long time unfortunately. Maybe he'll have success with stem cell treatments. If he does, I'll report back.