How Stem Cell Therapy Helped Bob Ride Horses Again
The image of an old cowboy riding the range for the last time, galloping off into the sunset might seem romantic, but it isn’t what Bob Ashcraft has in mind. At an age when his peers are plotting days of leisure and rest, Ashcraft has a different plan.
“I’m 76, but I don’t know it,” he says. “I still go against all of these younger fellas, but I’m still competitive.”
Competing against younger fellas means traveling across the U.S., showing horses and measuring his abilities in events that rekindle images of cowboys driving cattle from range to market. And it wouldn’t be possible if Ashcraft had both knees replaced. “I’m still active at my age,” he said. “But I’ve had buddies who’ve had knees replaced and it didn’t work out too well.” Knee replacement is OK, he added, if you don’t want to do much. But if you do, it has drawbacks.
Ashcraft went to one medical clinic where a doctor prescribed knee replacements. He went for five weeks of visits and consultations and got no results. He also described a friend, in his early 60s, who had a knee replacement and had to change his lifestyle. “They cut a nerve and he couldn’t ride anymore because he couldn’t maneuver the horse,” Ashcraft said. “Knee replacement works if you’re not very active and you take care of it.”
Despite the fact his knees were so bad, “down to bone on bone,” Ashcraft says, he didn’t want to replace them. Then, his granddaughter Megan found Southwest Spine & Sports online. After consulting with SWSS doctors and staff, Ashcraft thought he might have something. “Dr. Wolff gave me references from patients,” Ashcraft says. “I kept looking into it.”
He also asked SWSS doctors about the success rate of the stem cell procedure. “It all depends on the individual, they told me.”
It didn’t take too long before Ashcraft opted to have the stem cell therapy Dr. Wolff suggested. And when the time came for the procedure, it seemed fairly simple; far easier than knee replacements, Ashcraft found. “They just took some marrow out of my hip and put it back in my knees,” he said.
SWSS doctors told Ashcraft he could feel results in three to five months. “I felt a difference in two months,” he says. Ashcraft sees the therapy as comparable to the Fountain of Youth and is a reference for prospective SWSS patients. “I can do shows now,” he says, as well as drive a tractor across pastures near home.