Arthrokinex: an arthritis breakthrough in Oklahoma City

      A medical breakthrough in Oklahoma City is offering relief to those suffering from osteoarthritis. Pain is treated with the body's own anti-inflammatory proteins. Essentially the body heals itself, allowing patients to avoid or put off major surgery. "I enjoy driving the fire engine," said OKC firefighter Walter Hawkins. "I enjoy that. I love being out in the field." Hawkins' arthritis in his knees got so bad, it threatened to take him off the front lines. "It got to the point I couldn't stay on it very long," said Hawkins. "It hurt to mow the yard. It hurt to workout." Not ready for major knee replacement surgery, Hawkins turned to a brand new option called Arthrokinex.Dr. Angelique Barreto used an ultrasound to pinpoint exactly the area causing Hawkins' pain. "That's exactly where I'm going to place your injection," she said. The injection comes from Hawkins' own body. Blood is taken from the vein, then immediately put through a separation process, creating a highly concentrated liquid full of the body's own anti-inflammatory proteins. We watched as the Arthrokinex was injected into Hawkins' joint pouch. One injection a week for several weeks should give him lasting pain relief. Another patient, Elizabeth Newell, said, "After the 2nd injection, my life changed." "It's been a year since Newell had the procedure on her knee. "Any pain? any swelling?" Dr. Barreto asked her at a follow up appointment. "No," Newell answered. She couldn't tolerate the side effects of prescription anti-inflammatories. And the pain was robbing her quality of life. "My life was changing into a direction I was not happy with, because I was unable to do so many things." Newell and Hawkins are among the hundred or so patients who have used Arthrokinex over the last few years as Dr. Barreto developed and perfected her patented process. She's able to offer the procedure for a fraction of the cost of her competitors in Germany.But for her patients, the relief they get is priceless. "I want to get back to the karate school," said Hawkins. "I hadn't been in there in awhile. I'm looking forward to getting back in there and working out." Newell said, "This is natural. Your own body healing itself. How wonderful that is!" The entire process costs around $2500 and covers at least six injections, which can be spread out and used when needed.Insurance doesn't yet cover Arthrokinex, because it's still considered experimental.For more information, call (405)437-3000. You can also take a short quiz to find out if you're a good candidate for Arthrokinex by clicking here.