VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Could an injection of rooster combs save patients from surgery.
That's exactly what Care Medical Center in Valdosta says.
They have begun a new procedure using the rooster fluid that's given new hopes arthritis patients who have no other options but to get knee replacement surgery.
Charlie Jackson, Pat Gilliland and Linda Lewis. All have osteoarthritis that causes pain in their knees.
"Gradually, I was adjusting life to my knees," Gilliland says.
The cartilage and fluid in their knees wore out. It seemed knee surgery was the only way to ease the pain.
"Knee replacement surgery is a very hard surgery and the therapy afterwards is very intense and I knew I was not strong enough to do that," says Lewis.
But now they move pretty well. "I can walk with no pain. I can go upstairs, down stairs, no pain. And that's something I could not do in the past," Jackson says.
No surgery was required. Each of them got a new procedure. Once a week, for five weeks they get injections of Hyalgan.
"So the injection has to get exactly into this one little spot here to fill up the joint space with the protein fluid," says Dr. J.E. Chapman who performs the procedure at Care Medical.
A fluid made surprisingly enough from the combs of a rooster. "It was found that it is identical to what our normal joint fluid is," Chapman says.
Combined with an eight week physical therapy session, the procedure has changed their lives.
"After my first shot! I got my first shot Wednesday and on Thursday I woke up feeling really good," Lewis says.
Has these patients looking to do activities they haven't done in years. "Doing my yoga to the full extent. I had to curtail that quite a bit," says Gilliland.
And kicked the need for surgery to the curb.
The injections work on 70% of patients and last up to six months to a year.
Of course, anyone allergic to poultry would not be eligible.