Jaime Cortes is on the comeback trail--when he was a kid he played everything--baseball, soccer and football and all that high impact activity took a toll on his knee.
He had a common procedure done about ten months ago in Illinois but he wasn't satisfied with the results--
He moved to north Texas and found Baylor-Plano orthopedic surgeon Robert Berry.
Dr. Berry harvested cells from Jaime's bad knee, the cells were sent to a lab where they grew and about 7 weeks later they were transplanted back into the knee.
Jaime thought it sounded like something out of a science fiction movie.
"I thought it was pretty cool. It was something that I had never known existed,” Jamie said. “I know they've had stem cell research and all that other stuff but I never knew there was anything along the lines of growing cartilage or anything like that."
Dr. Berry removed about three tick-tack size samples from a non-weight bearing part of Jaime's knee.
The procedure was first used in the UK on professional athletes--now it's available to weekend warriors like Jaime.
"It's kind of science fiction meets reality,” Dr. Berry said. “Grow new cartilage and put that back in their knee and often those people that would have had to have a more advanced procedure such as a replacement then can have a fairly normal functioning knee and not have one of those replacements."
Dr. Berry is one of only a handful of specially certified surgeons to perform the procedure which he says allows people to get back in the game.
"Before they may have had to you know, no longer ski, no longer play soccer, run or do impact sports,” Dr. Berry continued. “They may have been destined to a life on the elliptical or swimming but this is something we can actually do and truly give people their life back."
Jaime said his knee feels ten times better than it did before the transplant surgery.
He's done with high impact sports and just wants to keep up with his daughter--and bowl without pain.
He’s almost ready to get back in the game—of life.
"I'm flying through therapy,” Jaime said. “It’s like the knee wasn't even damaged so things are looking up and looking real good."