Davide Chinellato, Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport, had been translating Italian video that Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari posted on his Faceboook page. Gallo has since made an English post, as well, and that is embedded above. Chinellato posted these tweets following the video:
We'll have to wait until more information comes out and go from there. We're definitely trying to be careful here, but Chinellato has been a good source for information. It's sounding like excellent news for Gallo.
Can an ACL heal naturally? Healing Response treatment
The following is from an online message board and a personal account of what could be the same or similar procedure that Gallo had. From Epic Ski:
For quick background...I tore my ACL and MCL off Granite Chief at Squaw. I was put under by my surgeon expecting to receive an ACL transplant but when I woke up he told me that he'd done a Healing Response procedure instead because it turned out I had a partial tear. The Healing Response is a technique developed at Steadman Hawkins. I'd never heard of the procedure before so I started researching and hitting the posting boards.
The theory behind the procedure is that the reason the ACL doesn't heal itself is that it has no blood supply so it can't clot, scab, and heal itself like an MCL can. Harvard wrote a paper on why ACL's don't heal themselves that jives very well with Steadman's approach. Only at Harvard they were proposing using collagen to generate the connection. Steadman uses stem cells from bone marrow.
The Healing Response procedure mimics the way an MCL heals by creating and fusing a clot at the ACL tear using your own bone marrow (rich with stem cells) from your fimur. They perforate your fimur right at the ACL tear and the also perforate the tissue on the tear itself. Your bone marrow essentially bleeds into the gap and that's where the clot sits while you sit on your bum for 6 weeks. What happens is that the clot bonds to the tear and generates regrowth. Eventually the clot generates into a substance that is very similar to a ligament and is completely fused to your own ligament. Allegedly it makes as strong of a connection as using a ligament replacement because you keep your own connection....no bone plugs. There is a pretty good paper on what's happening at the cellular level on the Steadman-Hawkins research center site. I won't try to reiterate it as I'm scientifically challenged. It can only be done if the tear is at the very top of the ACL where the connection to the fimur is.
After reading about all of the other approaches it seems like some of the pros are that you only have 2 tiny scars because nothing is harvested or replaced. No secondary injury to heal. Also, while the first 6 weeks of recovery are hell for anyone used to being active, the overall length of the recovery is much shorter....no bone to fuse, no screws and so forth. It really is much less invasive. The glaring downside is that it is very new and controversial. From what I've found so far it looks as though it's probably only been done 5 or 600 times in the US. It does look like it's being performed in Switzerland quite a bit (I found that on someone's post but unfortunately it linked to an article written in German). The most famous case study was Bode Miller who had it done 8 months before taking 5th at Worlds.
Again, I have no idea if this is what Gallo had done, but perhaps soon we'll have a movie made about this dramatic Nuggets off-season.
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