Happy Birthday to Jack Nicklaus, who is 79 today. And let us give thanks that the greatest golfer can still play at all. Thanks to stem cell therapy which he undertook in Munich two years ago, and the same treatment on his shoulder recently, Jack is now pain free for the first time since he was a teenager. He spoke to CNN last year about the revolutionary treatment that he underwent.
Jack had been playing through the pain all his professional career – he estimates he made 10 million swings – having cortisone injections for relief and, in his sixties, spinal surgery. A chance meeting with Dr Eckhard Alt at a party in 2015 led to Jack heading to Munich to the Isar Klinikum for treatment in February 2016. At that time he couldn’t play and could barely stand for longer than 10 minutes.
The day surgery under light sedation began with liposuction on his stomach to harvest fat, the stem cells come from the blood vessels. 3oz of fat was removed and it was strained with an enzyme to break down the fat to release 75 million stem cells. These were the spun through a centrifuge and made into a concentrate which was then injected – 10 times in the back and 4 in the neck.
The pain subsided over the next few months and he is now able to stand and walk and play golf pain free. Jack says “I’m a believer. I think that stem cell therapy is going to change the direction of orthopedics totally. I will continue to play golf for as long as the stem cells let me”.