The medical professionals here at Greenwood Regenerative Medicine believe in proactively preventing, treating, and relieving pain by regenerating the joints. The passion for this powerful therapy not only comes from years of scientific research and studies but their own firsthand life-changing experience.
Dr. Tom Toulios, D.C, is one of Greenwood’s highly skilled pain management and regenerative medicine physicians. He has dedicated himself to compassionately providing patient care and pain management solutions tailored to the individual needs of the whole patient.
Being no stranger to chronic pain himself, Dr. Toulios knows firsthand how inflammation can be debilitating.
We’ve sat down with him to learn about how undergoing two hip replacement surgeries played a major role in his journey with Stem Cell Therapy treatment and how it transformed his life and saved him from having to get a knee replacement.
We’re going to learn the following in this interview:
- His journey to Regenerative Medicine
- Why he started Stem Cell Therapy
- What was the kickoff point for him?
- How the treatment went
- How he’s feeling post-treatment
Dr. Toulios had two hip replacement surgeries in 2020
Dr. Tulios had two hip replacements in 2020 that initially seemed to resolve the pain he was dealing with. When he went for his follow-up appointment later that year, X-Rays showed positive signs of healing in his hips, and he agreed the pain had mostly gone away there.
‘How long was his recovery from the hip replacement surgery?’
Dr. Toulios’ hip pain consumed years of his life, and it was several months post-surgery until he was fully recovered.
“I suffered for years before I actually got to that point that surgery was needed. Once I got the procedure, the pain was relieved almost immediately, but the recovery to get back to full function was about six months. I was functional after four to six weeks, and I was really moving around quite well. But it took six months, in order to get full function.”
Not long after his first hip replacement surgery, Dr. Toulios’s other hip started presenting an immediate need for surgery.
“I did my left hip first, both hips felt great for two months, and then all of a sudden the pain in the right hip just started immediately. And then I was like I can’t wait to do this hip. So I hobbled through till the end of the year (2020) and replaced my right hip too.”
‘When did he start seeking Stem Cell Therapy?’
“Once the pain went away from my hips, I started to feel the pain in my knees.”
After surgeries in both of his hips, his knee pain became apparent, and it immediately began hurting and impacting his quality of life.
He began avoiding specific movements that would cause him pain. For example, his knee wasn’t bending much when he walked up the stairs, and his brain told him to launch himself sideways when he walked to avoid pain. During a follow-up visit, doctors recommended that he start planning for another surgery, but this time not for his hips – knee replacement surgery.
“I went in to my follow up appointment, and everything was great with the hips. We took some X-rays because I was complaining of knee pain, and the doctor goes ‘Well, you’re ready for a knee replacement’ and I was like, ‘I’m not doing this, I can’t do this right now.”
“Going through two hip replacement surgeries consumed my life during 2020 and 2021. During recovery, I was in the mindset of not doing another surgery. So one of the first things I looked at with my knee pain was preventative treatment, and that’s what started me on the road to Regenerative Medicine and exploring Stem Cell Therapy injections.”
After going through two hip replacements that cost him years of his life, it’s no surprise that Dr. Tulios did not want to undergo knee replacement surgery. He knew that there had to be another way to proactively relieve his knee pain and prevent any further progression. He also was determined not to do another surgery.
“I wanted to either delay or prevent the need for surgery. That’s why I got into Stem Cell Therapy treatment.”
‘How is he feeling 12 weeks after stem cell treatment?’
“It’s like there’s recovery there that I didn’t have in the past.”
He reported a significant reduction in pain after Stem Cell Therapy, and there were no longer thoughts about or feelings of knee pain. Not only could he walk again but could do so without a limp. He also no longer needs to take Meloxicam, a prescription anti-inflammatory that he took daily for three years to treat arthritis.
Twelve weeks after stem cell injections, Dr. Toulios reports that he can now go up stairs without any pain. He still remembers the same thoughts and fears of pain when going through motions that previously caused a ton of pain. He still anticipated immediate pain doing certain activities, but to his surprise, he’s not feeling any!
An essential thing he noticed after 12 weeks is even after a long day, his knee will begin to ache, but it resets itself after the next morning.
“I’ve noticed that when I am on my feet for a long time, it begins to ache towards the end of the day. However, it’s back to normal when I wake up the next morning.”
What was his post “workout” recovery time?
Dr. Toulios talks about how he would avoid certain strenuous activities that he knew would aggravate his knee. Not because he didn’t want to work out, but because he knew the pain would be there.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t have the desire to workout. I just worked out significantly less because I didn’t want to deal with the pain. After all, it was present all the time.”
Before Stem Cell Therapy treatment, Dr. Toulios would avoid activities that triggered inflammation and knee pain. Although he was protecting his knee from over aggravation, he wasn’t proactively treating the cause of the pain.
Dr. Toulios talks about a common occurrence of avoiding certain activities that you know will cause you pain or discomfort. Instead of addressing the cause of the symptoms, many people will avoid doing the activity altogether, and avoidance is more manageable than addressing the underlying cause.
“You may not even realize it at that time because you feel okay, but you don’t like doing the activity. But really, what’s underneath there is that it aggravates your arthritic joint. So you stopped doing it even unconsciously.”
Would Stem Cell injections have been an option for a hip replacement?
“When you get to a certain point, there is no fixing, only replacing. I waited too long, I wasn’t practicing what I preach, Preventative Care, and paid the consequences. Stem Cell Therapy can decrease inflammation and promote cartilage repair, but I wasn’t introduced to it early enough.”
Dr. Toulios talks about why he didn’t choose Stem Cell Therapy as an option for his hip replacement. He wasn’t introduced to the preventive and proactive approach of Regenerative Medicine until he was past the point of no return.
“By the time I got to the doctor, I was at the point where I finally said I can’t live with this. I couldn’t put my shoes or socks on. My kids were waiting forever in the morning for me to pull my socks on, which is ridiculous. That’s when I finally got the full evaluation. However, it was too late by that time, and I was miserable.”
Although it was too late for Dr. Toulios to seek Regenerative Medicine treatment for his hip pain, it was a lesson learned about how critical preventative care is. Dr. Toulios actively promotes preventative care to his patients so he can prevent others from experiencing pain that could have potentially been avoided.
What Did Dr. Toulios Learn from His Own Journey?
“I learned from my mistake: I waited too long to prevent my hip replacement.”
Dr. Toulios opens up the conversation about what he wishes he knew before getting his hip replacement surgery and what he learned from his mistakes, which is the importance of preventive and proactive treatment.
“I didn’t do any preventative treatment ahead of time, and because of that, I exceeded the point where preventive medicine could be beneficial.”
Dr. Toulios brings in this relatable analogy:
“When you get a toothache, it can be miserable. Then all of a sudden, two or three days later, it goes away on its own, right? You know that there’s something wrong with that tooth, even if the pain goes away. The next time it comes, it’s more severe. If you don’t address it, it eventually becomes a root canal because the tooth is so damaged.”
Many of us can relate to having an untreated toothache, eventually resulting in a more significant problem like a root canal. That’s why we get X-Rays on our teeth every year, to look closely at what’s happening before the pain starts. Finding the cavities early on often will prevent a root canal.
This is a great example about the importance of preventative care. Dr. Toulois and the team at Greenwood Regenerative Medicine are so passionate about the power and importance of preventative proactive care to achieve pain relief.
Dr. Toulios’ Message to His Patients
“What I did was avoid the activity, so I never got a chance to make it miserable.”
Dr. Toulios’ overall message is that when you start to avoid your everyday activities, when you’re like, “I don’t want to go for a walk because of the pain,” you need to start talking about alternative treatment options like Stem Cell Therapy.
“I want to give my patients the message that I can put myself in their shoes. While also reinforcing this preventative care, which is one of our biggest messages throughout everything.”
Dr. Toulios is passionate about educating his patients on the importance of proactive and preventive care. He knows firsthand how important it is to address the issue head-on as soon as you start to feel that any change is going on in your body.
“Here’s what I told my patients: either you make time for your body, or your body will make time for you.”
There comes a time when it is no longer your choice, and your body starts to force you to take care of the problem you’ve been avoiding for so long.
“It’s like the second you think about regenerative treatment, come in, and we’ll talk about it. We need to have that conversation the second you start to think something’s going on.”
If you’ve been thinking about whether or not regenerative medicine is right for you, don’t delay! Complete the form below today to request a free consultation!