I have had a number of knee injuries from sports and tore my meniscus two times in BJJ. I didn’t do surgery on it because all of my research suggested that it was a risky move.
So I took natural, alternative and some definitely non-mainstream approaches to healing and treating it.
So I put some of that research here (in regards to surgery) and a ton (in regards to healing) on a site I made called Healiscus. DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and even if I was you shouldn’t believe everything I say. You have to do ample research to determine the best course of action for you.
In this post first I’ll focus on the studies and outcomes surrounding meniscus tear surgeries. Then towards the end I’ll touch on some treatment tips and there’s an FAQ too.
If you are a big thinker and you want to heal your meniscus (ideally without surgery) so you can get back to your game then this is probably for you.
Or if you are considering surgery I think this will definitely help.
WELCOME TO THE TERROR DOME.
It’s like a bad dream…
And it’s called the red and white zone.
Many orthopedic doctors say…
If your tear is in the red zone it has a chance to heal. And if your tear is in the white zone then you are out of luck and you probably need a partial meniscectomy to “fix” it.
But is it really that black and white?
There is some truth to that to say that the white zone is not vascular.
But to say it can’t heal there…
In fact here is a study that says cells were able to migrate.
Explant studies revealed that migrating cells were mainly confined to the red zone in normal menisci: However, these cells were capable of repopulating defects made in the white zone.
You’re not getting the most up to date information when you consult your ‘average’ orthopedic doctor.
You’re not getting the best medical advice or attention you could receive.
You’re getting OLD information and practices.
Do you want to heal your meniscus without surgery?
Chances are you can.
However, if your tear is displaced or it’s completely torn in half then maybe you do need surgery. If it’s catching or locking then maybe you do need surgery.
Although that ‘could’ also be inflammation from trauma and not just a piece of torn meniscus.
I’ve torn my meniscus in judo and jiu-jitsu 2 times (according to the MRI). Aside from that I’ve had countless injuries from snowboarding, basketball and even drunk bike riding at 2am in the morning 20+ years ago.
A torn MCL, fractured arm, fractured clavicle, fractured finger, torn cartilage, torn rotator cuff, dislocated finger, bruised tibia and ribs, and plenty of undiagnosed injuries.
And maybe you too.
So how does your knee feel now?
Does it feel like someone sliced up the inside of your knee with an x-acto and then kicked it?
Are you limping?
Well, I can teach you how to heal it (most likely without surgery) and/or if you decide to get surgery I can even help you recover faster and better from it.
The most common ‘fix’ for a torn meniscus is a partial meniscectomy.
Chances are if you get a partial meniscectomy that you will develop osteoarthritis (OA) in that knee.
One source suggests that if you cut out as little as 10% of your meniscus that it increases joint stress by 70%. Your chances of developing arthritis increase exponentially the more they remove.
If you remove part of your meniscus then you change the biomechanics of the knee.
Some people can quickly return to sports and activity within a few weeks after partial meniscectomy.
A partial meniscectomy often removes the symptoms (pain) now.
“Nearly 63% of knee meniscus surgery patients developed knee arthritis in the meniscectomy knee within 8 years, on average, following surgery. Compare this to the opposite knee that was not operated on: 28% developed arthritis in that same time period.”
“Early after surgery, 92% of patients had excellent or good results, in term of knee pain, swelling, ROM, squatting, but at a mean of eight years after surgery, only 62% of the patients rated their knees as excellent or good.” – Source
92% said they felt ok after surgery, but then 8 years later 38% didn’t.
Your odds of needing a knee replacement in the future increase 3 fold when you get a meniscectomy according to this study.
Yeah, but what about a ‘partial’ meniscectomy?
“Partial meniscectomy, the most common orthopedic surgical intervention, is recognized as a strong risk factor for knee OA.” – Source
“However, meniscectomy is not ideal because it disrupts the normal anatomical structure and function of the meniscus.” – Source
Any sort of meniscectomy (partial or full) removes the torn bit before it has any chance to heal.
And of course they’ll tell you that it won’t heal…
But you should be very careful about what any orthopedic surgeon tells you because you are likely getting dated information and practices.
What about meniscus repair vs. partial meniscectomy?
Is repair better?
Yes, it can be. Definitely lean towards this if you are thinking surgery.
But know it is not without risk.
And many surgeons will not decide what treatment they will do until they go inside your knee with a scope. So even if you lean towards repair many will not be able to guarantee you that they will do a repair and you could wake up with less of a meniscus.
In the BJJ forum on Reddit someone commented on their stitches.
“Meniscal repairs have a higher re-operation rate than partial meniscectomies, although they are associated with better long-term outcomes.” – Source
Meniscus repair failure rate?
In this study the failure rate for 25 year olds and older was just 15%.
In this study 96% were said to regain their pre-injury activity level.
It is mentioned here that in one study the failure rate was 29%.
And the weird thing is that many doctors may only try the repair surgery if you’re of a certain age or if the tear is in the red zone.
But if it’s in the red zone why even try to repair it?
It doesn’t make sense.
They say your meniscus tear won’t heal because there is no blood flow to part of the meniscus and tears in the red zone have a better chance of healing.
So if it could heal there why even mess with it?
But doctors have financial interest$ to mess with it. Your torn meniscus is no tragedy to him – it’s probably money in the bank.
Your doctor is biased like everyone else including me (and more on me later). And while he may be good at using that trimming tool…
There goes your meniscus…
You’re not getting the big picture when you go see an orthopedic surgeon for your knee.
You’re getting a particular orthopedic ‘surgeons’ view on how to fix your meniscus.
Most orthopedic doctors look at the body as if it’s a living organism machine which is just part of it because unlike a machine you are alive.
They don’t all agree and they don’t all use the same practices to surgically repair your meniscus either.
There’s not necessarily one way to heal your knee, but he is likely practicing one way.
And he is working for a slow changing institution – MEDICINE.
Even if you find a great surgeon working privately he still has to confirm to certain ‘standards’.
Medicine like education, government and religion is slow to change.
“Changing clinical practice is a difficult process, best illustrated by the time lag between evidence and use in practice and the extensive use of low-value care.” – Source
And I can guarantee you that the medicine and treatments for a torn meniscus will be very different 50 years from now.
DO YOU THINK I AM TALKING NONSENSE HERE????
Check this out.
“A staggering 36,000 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are published each year, on average, and it typically takes about 17 years for findings to reach clinical practice.” –Source
Like I said…
You’re getting ‘old’ medicine.
Old beliefs and old practices.
I can’t say all orthopedic surgeons will do you in and mess up your knee.
You may have good luck and get a great surgeon.
Some people do.
Yet many people don’t.
Here’s another study…
Do you know the search related to feature on the bottom of the Google search results page?
Check this data out.
This is like a study in itself.
These ones stood out the most to me.
knee pain one year after surgery
knee pain two years after surgery
You read above that the chances of getting arthritis after partial meniscectomy are fairly high and that there is a sizable chance of repairs failing.
And what that image just showed you was another metric of what might happen if you get surgery.
Can you heal the meniscus naturally without surgery?
As you can see surgery isn’t going to necessarily ‘fix it’ and in fact it’s possible that it will make it worse.
Those doctors may have told you “it can’t heal”. And it may be slow or difficult to heal, but you can regenerate cartilage and you can boost your bodies ability to fix itself, but you’ve got to intervene and most likely change some of your habits.
How long does a torn meniscus take to heal without surgery?
That entirely depends on the severity of the tear and what you do or don’t do to help it heal. It could take any where from a month to a year or more to fully heal. You can’t be passive. It’s also possible that the tear may only partially heal.
Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?
Yes, it’s possible however, your best bet is to take action and do a complete rehab program that covers all angles (see below for more).
A severe tear may not be able to heal well on its own. But I would be very skeptical of any doctor that states, “it can’t heal”. It’s possible that it could get worse with re-injury or it’s possible that it could get better with time.
Here’s a study that shows that 37% of the people with defects in their cartilage showed an improvement and 31% showed a worsening.
Can you walk around with a torn meniscus?
Yes, sometimes you can, however it’s advised that you take it easy initially for a least a few weeks and totally minimize movement as lots of movement may cause further injury and then progressively add motion.
If it hurts stay off it.
Can a torn meniscus get worse over time?
Yes, it could. If it’s a severe displaced tear then the tear could get bigger. On the other hand studies show that some people have asymptomatic tears. In other words they had tears they didn’t even know about.
In the last few weeks I have done quite a bit of fasting. Feb. 22 I started some alternate day fasting then most recently completed a 4 day fast.
Fasting starting from February 22 – March 6th, 2020.
66 hours then 2 days of eating
41 hours then 1 day of eating
39 hours then 1 day of eating
36 hours then 1 day of eating then…
97 hours (4 days of no food)
279 hours over 2 weeks
Why did I do this?
To help heal injuries namely my knee and shoulder. I tore my knee close to 10-11 weeks ago and the shoulder was probably from November when I did that last judo competition.
I received some damage in that one in my shoulder and eye.
I think my knee is getting better, but shoulder is really sluggish.
I often eat within an 8 hour window. And the longest fast I’ve done prior to this was 3 days (83 hours) in San Fran.
Anyways WHY FAST?
People fast for different reasons like to:
promote cell turnover
decrease your risk of cancer
improve your immune system
increase your life span (if done regularly)
lose weight (but it will come back if you don’t change your eating habits)
improve cognitive function (decreases chances of or symptoms of Alzheimers)
But I did this mainly to help heal injuries.
It increases stem cells (24, 48, 72 hour+ fasts have all proven to increase stem cell regeneration in different systems in the body).
It increases growth hormone (1 day, 5 days or more will send your daily GH levels up higher than if you were eating, but lowers IGF-1.)
And some other things…
More details on those are coming in my new course that I think will be named Healiscus.
After that 66 hour fast I felt some improvement in my knee.
In the past since 2015 I’ve done a handful of fasts around 66-81 hours, one day a week fasts, and for the last year+ eating usually within a 4-8 hour window.
The 4 day fast (97 hours)
This is the longest fast I have done so far, previously it was 83 hours.
So I had been doing an alternate day fast (which probably made it a little more difficult to do) and kept reading about the benefits of a 5 day fast or fasting mimicking diet. I was going for 5 days, but didn’t make it as you’ll see below.
I didn’t eat on Sunday and then I ate on Monday and stopped around 9pm. I was planning on just the alt day fast but, decided to push.
A little further…
Rode my bike down the river towards the south of Sawara-ku and then up the mountain to Bozu waterfall (13km). Felt ok.
Never realized it was that far, but it’s mostly a nice ride if you go down Muromi river as there is a bike path along the river.
The last part of it was up hill so with one speed bike I was walking. I almost turned around several times, but kept saying let’s go a little further.
Needed a dose of nature.
Saw a quirky house and a cool little bamboo forest.
Most of the mountains in Fukuoka are covered in Cedar trees that look like they were planted.
Saw signs of Kanayama, Mt. which was 6km and another for Bozu falls which was 1 km so I went that way.
Here’s a picture.
But I think cause I had been doing this alternate day fasting I was feeling a little hungrier and lower energy than I normally would on a 24 hour fast.
I didn’t eat but I drank green tea.
Today was low energy. All day I have felt low energy. Noises were loud and people annoying.
I didn’t drink green tea which also might have had an effect. I didn’t get a headache though which is a typically caffeine withdrawal side effect.
I went for a few walks down the river and out once looking for lactase and then a little hike to a temple on a hill which is nearby and less than 1/2 mile or so.
Lied down a bunch.
Felt dizzy and wobbly at times.
Now it’s like 62 hours into a fast. Been up for an hour, feel o.k. It’s sunny. I’ll probably go out for a walk and do some yoga first.
Yoga was somewhat more difficult than usual. Thinking about the foods I want to eat. Thinking of walking to the store to get some green tea.
Then drinking it maybe decaffeinating it. If you let the tea soak a bit (some say for a minute) then dump it out and then infuse it again it will have less caffeine. The first infusion has the most caffeine.
Some say caffeine may interfere with some of the effects of fasting and others don’t. Some studies say green tea promotes autophagy, yet I don’t know about the stem cells and growth hormone.
Although a quick Google search shows autophagy helps stem cells.
And that’s what I am after. Yesterday was no green tea. Today we’ll see.
So we got some tea, and I decaf’d it pouring off maybe 70% of the caffeine so they say. I feel slightly more crisp or sharp.
I feel better.
So I learned that if you fast and you normally drink tea or coffee then if you want to do a water fast then the best thing to do would be to cut out your caffeine intake a few days before you food fast otherwise you are going to have 2 shocks to your system.
Or just drink it.
The other thing I have been doing the last 2 days is a lot of massage with my aluminum bottle (kinda like a foam roller) and tennis ball.
These are very neglected.
Things I should be doing way more often. I realized all the effin’ pain I have locked up in my legs. Muscular tightness, pain and imbalances.
After a few sessions I feel like I am walking different.
I feel like I got some things done today. I wrote quite a bit. I’ve been working on a new ebook. And I updated some other stuff on ESLinsider.
The feeling I’ve had is somewhat of an aversion towards people noises etc. Kinda like how I usually feel, LOL, but a little more extreme.
Kinda like when you are sick or I was also reminded of psilocybin mushrooms – how I felt averse to people, but without the paranoia.
Now it’s 10:47pm and I feel o.k. Not struggling or feeling very weak. Going to get off line here soon and sit in my little DIY sauna I made with a small electric heater and the built in heater in my room and a tarp.
Yes, it’s kinda ghetto.
But works o.k. not quite hot enough actually a third heater would be better. See you tomorrow.
Oh I forgot to say I noticed I have a bit of acne which is surprising as I haven’t eaten in 73 hours. Some suggest it might be the hormones in fat since I am now running on fat.
Glycogen gets burned off most say in around 24 hours.
Today started at 3:00am. I woke up at 3am and couldn’t go back to sleep. It was very cold. So I browsed the internet a bit and tried to go back to sleep, but didn’t work.
Was it the caffeine from yesterday?
Maybe partly. So I decided to go for a walk. And I hiked up Atago temple and a took a picture about 10 minutes before sunrise.
Going to write a bit, drink tea and then probably take a nap.
I tried and we dozed for about 10 minutes and then that was that. Did a little yoga, a sweat, a little work, and some massage.
Also got some buckwheat tea. It’s quite nice. It tastes a little like genmaicha with that roasted rice flavor, but there is no green tea in it. I like it.
And no caffeine.
Because I need some sleep.
Felt very annoyed with people today when I went to the store. I wonder is it some sort of intuition or is it just hunger? I saw some guy say on Reddit that he felt more intuitive while fasting.
Hmm, I wondered, but was skeptical.
I feel definitely more irritable. I have no desire to talk to people or be near them. It’s 3:31 and it’s been about 91 hours. This is the farthest I have been.
Still shooting for tomorrow night 9pm. That will be 5 days.
And then we eat.
Food sounds orgasmic. Yet, I am kinda o.k. now. Stomach is fine.
It’s 9pm and I took a nap for a few hours. Less than 24 hours to go. 96 hours completed. Feeling kinda ill.
I was intending on fasting today, but last night I started to feel very sick. I tried meditating and couldn’t really do it. I couldn’t maintain my focus.
I felt nauseous and I couldn’t sleep. I noticed whenever I have a bad night of sleep during a fast it makes it much more likely that I will break that fast the next day.
Could have been caffeine in the tea from the day before because I drank some later in the day even though I ‘decaffed’ it.
So at about 10pm (97 hours) I was craving salt and I took a handful of spirulina and then I made a soup with: nori, wakame, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, MCT oil and olive oil.
It was very delicious.
But I had to take it slow as I was afraid of throwing it up.
Fortunately I didn’t. And then a little while later, I made a stir fry with chicken, eggs, some of those same vegetables and nori.
It was great.
Then some milk, blueberries, and ground peanuts.
Bit by bit I started feeling better.
I slept o.k.
Woke up a few times once at 3am and had a little milk and berries.
And this morning I went and got some good grano padano cheese. I got a craving for it last night.
I felt a little weak riding my bike and I had to go a few miles down a noisy busy road to get it. The local places don’t have good cheese like that.
In Japan and everywhere else I have lived in Asia you’ve got limited options for good cheese.
And then for breakfast I had:
Blueberries and walnuts in milk
A grapefruit (tis the season here for white grapefruit, mmm)
Cacao and stevia
Yum, looking forward to more food today. Fasting gives you an amazing appreciation for food. It’s like that saying…
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Another benefit of fasting
This is purely subjective. People do fast for spiritual reasons, but I think an extended fast can give you some insight on your problems.
I did a Google search for:
spiritual benefits of fasting
Then I got a whole page of results with titles “god” this and “god” that. So to get rid of results that you don’t want to see you put a “-” in front of the word like “-god”.
So I did.
And then got a bunch of “allah” listings, so I put a “-allah”. Searched again and that got rid of the “allah” results.
I guess to some people spirituality is synonymous with “religion” although most of those people (with a fixed mentality) would never call it “religion”.
Anyways one thing I realized is that for a prolonged fast it would be best to be somewhere tranquil. Kind of similar for psilocybin.
Not the kind of thing you want to do in a busy place. I don’t think so.
I found people and noises to be annoying.
I found myself crossing the street to avoid people.
Lately I really enjoy watching the ducks. There are lots of different kinds of sea birds in Fukuoka that are nearby and that I see everyday.
But I have a new appreciation for ducks.
And in Fukuoka there seems to be different kinds of ducks.
Ducks can fly, swim, go under water, walk a bit and they’re cute especially when they stick their heads under water and their butts up in the air^^.
And I wondered about the ducks life as I watch them float out on the sea. What are they tuned into?
And speaking of search results…
I found this to be funny.
If you start doing a lot of research into fasting then you are likely to find Valter Longo who is well known for his research on fasting and cancer and his 5 day ‘fasting mimicking’ diet (calorie restriction).
So I did a search with his name and at the bottom of the page looked at the search results which I found to be funny.
Searches related to are search queries that are based on what people are searching for. And I thought the “valter longo wife” and “valter longo married” were funny.
Why were people searching for that?
Ian’s over and out.
Shoulder, legs and knee. The combination of massage and fasting have me feeling rejuvenated.
If it can help bones and skin maybe it can help cartilage.
Matcha since it’s the whole plant is considered by some to be 3x higher in that compared to normal green tea.
Green tea and cacao both contain epicatechins which are said to be good for arthritis, building muscle strength and burning fat.
Yet the amount in both is much lower than in supplement form. I’ve heard doses ranging from 150mg to as high as 500mg (said Tailormade Compounding) of epicatechin will show some results in strength and fat depletion.
I’ve read that some studies show that consuming 150mg of epicatechin could improve your strength (possibly grip strength) by 7%.
Maybe if I consume that much my judo and jiujitsu game will improve since your grip game in grappling is so important.
Or if you’re a carpenter it might improve your hammer game.
I read a cup of green tea contains about 10mg.
So you would have to drink 10-15 cups of green tea or maybe 5 cups of matcha.
Matcha might contain 3 times as much. So a cup might get you 30mg.
Cacao is high in epicatechins too.
Cacao powder is the best form.
So can you eat a bunch of chocolate?
Cacao (not chocolate) is what is good for you. Chocolate contains sugar and milk+.
Milk chocolate contains the least amount of epicatechins.
A dark chocolate bar might contain 46mg.
“…these effects are ‘markedly reduced’ when the chocolate is consumed with ‘milk’ or if milk is incorporated as milk chocolate.” – Source
As a test one day I ate the whole box of these cacao bits (95%) as an experiment which is a total of 60 grams and the next day I felt kind of hung over.
But that’s probably not epicatechin.
There’s caffeine and theobromine and other things in cacao.
I’ll have to try it again sometime.
I do think it’s kind of addictive so I don’t eat it everyday and I sometimes vary the amount because if I eat the same amount everyday and then suddenly stop I feel withdrawal.
I first heard about BPC 157 in this thread I started about my torn meniscus and what to do. Someone there mentioned it then and it didn’t sink in.
But I kept on looking into surgical options, PRP, stem cells, etc. and kept running into BPC 157 and other peptides. So I decided to give them a whirl as they sounded pretty good.
I ordered BPC from an Alibaba shop.
Then I got it about Jan 24th and did my first injection.
Yeah, so needles are weird.
I never thought I’d be injecting my self with anything. But when you’ve got pain and you know that it will help then you do what you got to do.
So I injected it everyday about 3 times a day for 2 weeks. A day anywhere from about 700-1000mcg.
I mostly injected it in my knee (knee capsule), around my knee (sub cutaneous) , and then my shoulder and a few times in my belly felt.
But you don’t want to inject the same spot many times. And BPC has a short half-life that’s why you have to inject it more often.
I even combined it with blood on a couple of occasions.
Recently I have taken it orally by squirting it on my gums that are receding. And wonder if that has had a different effect.
If you take it orally it needs to be twice the amount and a bit more according to Jean Francois Tremblay.
Did I have side effects?
Not really. The first time I injected it I got a bit of anxiety or fear after, but I think that was psychological.
After that not.
I got a little burning sometimes immediately following the injection.
For 2 weeks I felt fine and then the last 2 days or so after injections I felt some pain and inflammation where I injected so I stopped and took it orally.
Could have been because the needle was dull. I reused the same needles after cleaning them. I would typically use one needle a day, but those last days I might have used one needle in 2 days.
I would either boil them to disinfect or wipe with an alcohol wipe that contained ethanol, paraben and benzlkonium chloride.
But IDK something caused irritation in the last two days.
Of course best practice is to use a new needle every time.
Also could have been the bacteriostatic water went bad or something and caused irritation.
I made my own.
Which is normally .9% benzl alcohol and water, but I couldn’t find benzl so I got ethanol and used about 1%.
Like I said I was fine for 2 weeks.
I think a dull needle was part of the problem especially in the one location that caused the most pain – the skin over my patella tendon.
But I always used a ‘new’ needle when I would inject in the joint space.
Anyways those were my minor side effects.
What’s the right amount?
IDK. If you look online you will see 250-1000mg a day suggested or common is 250mg 2-3 times a day.
But one of the more popular studies that you will see is the one about rats that had their ligaments sliced up and then repaired with BPC.
After MCL transection BPC 157 was effective in rats when given once daily intraperitoneally (10 microg or 10 ng/kg) or locally as a thin layer (1.0 microg dissolved in distilled water/g commercial neutral cream) at the site of injury, first application 30 min after surgery and the final application 24 h before sacrifice. Source
“Rats and mice ingesting BPC 157 in their drinking water, the typical dosage ranged between 10 nanograms to 10 mcg (micrograms) per kg.”
Which kind of looks like the quote above, but in the study above they were injecting or applying with a cream.
Jean Tremblay said that if you take it orally you need 2 times the amount and a little more.
So I am about 155 or 71kg or so normally.
So I guess the dose would be around 700mcg a day.
So how has it helped?
My knee feels a bit more stable and stronger than it did before. I had pain for a good 6-7 weeks especially standing still and after about 3 pm.
Walking was o.k. for a while early in the day but then later in the day would start hurting more.
And I had to move more cautiously.
Now I feel it is more stable and stronger at about 9 weeks post injury.
But it still has a way to go and I will be trying some other peptides and continue using this until finished.
I haven’t noticed it helping my shoulder much although I injected it there less often. Jean Tremblay says it doesn’t actually matter much usually where you inject it because the peptide will find it’s way to the injury.
He says it’s systemic.
Although if it’s in a place like your knee: meniscus, acl, pcl, etc. then it’s going to travel around your blood stream before it makes it’s way into the joint and the knee is a capsule so really if you have an injury there you should inject into the joint space.
Of course you ‘shouldn’t’ do it yourself they say. You ‘should’ get a professional.
But I knew I had to do that to get the best results so I did. I think TB500 which I ordered would be a bit better for that one perhaps or used in conjunction with because it has a longer half life.
I heard maybe 7-10 days vs. BPC’s 4-6 hours.
I don’t want to inject everyday into my knee capsule because the space is small and it’s not good to keep injecting into the same area.
Other people suggest injecting it locally near the injury.
So I’ve also done 2 blood injections of about 2-4ml into my knees. One time my left and right and 2 times into my right and one time with BPC.
Oh, there was another time I tried blood, but it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I did managed eventually to squeeze out most in the sink and it had a little residue left and then I added BPC to that and injected that.
One time my left knee was hurting in the morning when I woke up more than my injured right knee.
In the past my left knee was the worst of the 2 (old MCL injury+patella tracking issues), but has been compensating for the right as I have been limping around.
So I injected both knees inside the joint and I felt a little burning feeling for about 30 minutes in my left knee and then the pain was gone.
And actually since then that knee has also bothered me less.
One of the times I did DIY blood injections was also about 1ml of blood and bpc in that knee.
I think the BPC does have some anti-inflammatory response like is said.
Most other times I noticed no immediate relief and the process of pain reduction and improvement has been slow.
One thing I noticed is that since I’ve taken it orally (last 4 days or so) yesterday I drank ‘raw milk’ and this time it did not cause any sort of tummy rumble like it often did in the past.
Can’t say for sure if it was the BPC. But it is supposedly good for your gut.
I’ll try it again and see if I get the rumble.
I will continue to use it until gone and then update this.
The placebo effect
I’ve wondered about the quality of the BPC I got because I got it from China (Alibaba) from a vendor that a few people recommended on Reddit.
They say 95-99% of the peptides out there come from China. Even most of the sites that sell them in the US or UK are still selling peptides from China.
They buy them in bulk and then raise the price a lot.
So if you are savvy financially you might just buy them from China.
Then if you start researching you may hear that they may be fake or under dosed or have bacteria or ____.
There is probably some truth to that but I think there is a lot of fear mongering out there and a lot of the people saying those things have self interests.
Also the the bacteria one was an isolated case as far as I know.
So it’s like bad news and fear.
You fear the water and sharks more than you do driving your car, but in reality driving your car is way more dangerous.
If you want to get USA made peptides or Canadian made peptides you could try Tailor made compounds or Canlabs.
But you are going to pay 5-10X the price.
The placebo effect I think can go both ways.
You start to think ok these peptides are from China and they don’t work or the fragment is broken or it’s under dosed or maybe there is bacteria in it.
So it becomes true.
Or what the anti-doping organization in Australia made some claim that 80% of peptides are fake or under dosed.
Maybe, but I don’t really trust that bit of news because it’s in their self interests to say so.
And possibly the people who keep saying it.
So if you want to get the most out of the placebo effect then you can buy from one of those places that do regular testing in North America.
But is it possible that what you can buy on Alibaba is the exact same thing?
All of the vendors on Alibaba try to make it look like they are the factory, but they are not.
I found two companies on there that used the same building with their photoshopped name on it to make it look like it was their factory.
Those sellers there are definitely not transparent as to who they are. A good business would be to be a seller there who is.
Make a video about who you are and what you do, but they don’t.
From what I’ve learned from Jean Francois Tremblay is that there aren’t that many factories in China that make peptides, but the vendors on Alibaba all probably buy their peptides from the same few factories and then resell them.
And there are rules and regulations in China.
It’s the middle men you got to watch out for.
There is a lot of fear out there (sinophobia) about China too.
Sometimes if you feel that you got fake peptides it’s possible that it’s from a bad batch. Like the peptide fragment chain broke and wasn’t that they were trying to make a fake peptide.
It’s that they are big factories selling lots of peptides to resellers and they probably don’t test every batch.
So you may be getting inert amino acids.
Could there be factories out there making and selling fake peptides?
IDK. Maybe little ones, but you know they won’t be in business long. And the cost of setting up a factory just to make fake look alike peptides is too high I would think.
I also recently ordered from Canlabs a couple peptides and will see how they go and I will probably get a better placebo effect too since I know more about who made them.
But they were way more expensive.
Learn more about peptides (good videos and podcasts with Jean Tremblay).
This is a blog post about injecting my blood into my knee because I tore my meniscus and didn’t really want to do surgery and a $1000 for PRP seemed ridiculous.
And my knee hurt.
I did a lot of research about surgery, PRP, stem cells, etc.
Then I decided to take matters into my own hands…
Of course it’s not something you ‘should’ do. You ‘should’ always have a ‘professional’ do it.
But sometimes you do what you got to do.
This started with a desire to do PRP, but the cost was too much and it was a little difficult the first few times that you can see below.
I failed twice and stabbed myself countless times.
But basically I ended up doing autologous blood injection (ABI) which is a whole blood injection vs. PRP which is when they separate the red blood cells and just use the plasma and platelets.
Actually autologous just means your own and PRP is that too, but not usually referred to as.
This goes from most recent to lesser so.
Update Feb 26th, 2020
I did a fast for 66 hours and towards the end of the fast I withdrew almost 3ml of blood. This time I didn’t inject it into my knee but I mixed it with peptides and injected it around the knee in three locations: sub q lateral side, medial side near MCL and intramuscular near where the hamstring attaches to the bone.
They say if you injure your knee it’s not only the specific area that is affected and sometimes you have to treat the whole knee.
So it’s likely the MCL was also injured when that careless guy tried his flying judo move and collapsed my knee inward.
Since in the past I had a problem with coagulation and I used sodium citrate which is basically baking soda and citric acid about 3-4% to the blood and that stopped coagulating.
A few days prior I had made centrifuge out of a fan, but the blood coagulated in the tube and then it would be best to put the blood in a separate container.
As opposed to leaving it in the syringe because if you do (even if it is capped) some will likely come out when you spin it.
Update Feb 9th, 2020
So it’s been a few weeks… maybe 3. So since the last time I’ve tried 3 more times.
The 2nd time did not work because I could not get blood and got tired of pricking myself.
The 3rd time (a few weeks ago) I did get blood, but then it coagulated in the syringe and wouldn’t come out. I lost 96%, but there was still a little blood residue in the syringe and I added BPC 157 to it and then injected that.
The 4th time (about 4 days ago) I did get blood easy compared to the 1st time (below). It took one prick and before I did I added a little BPC to the syringe and then withdrew about 4.ml.
So I learned I have to work fast or the blood will coagulate. They use something called sodium citrate??? I think for PRP to stop the blood from coagulating.
I was going to centrifuge my blood this time, because I know it will work, but my down transformer broke a few days before so I could not use the dremel tool.
Oh well, I will use the whole blood and BPC.
And this time my plan was to do my right knee, left a bit and shoulder.
I learned some tricks to make withdrawing blood easier by opening the syringe a little so it has a little suction to begin.
As the 1st time I had pain for about 3 days post injection, but it’s less. I injected mostly into my right knee about 2.5ml and about 1ml in my left and 1ml in my shoulder.
In my shoulder I did intramuscular injection and that actually felt good^^. IDK I hit the right spot.
Recently I have been doing those in my shoulder with BPC.
Learn more about my experience with BPC 157 (blog post coming soon).
Probably the best knee injection video I found:
Update a few days later (January 20th, ’20)…
I felt a bit increase in pain in the days to follow, but gradually decreasing as it’s 3 days later.
I have done a little bit of research regarding injecting whole blood vs. PRP. And it seems some people say that red blood cells have more inflammatory markers in it.
Which may not be what you want, but…
My limited research shows that there are cytokines (which can be positive or negative), and maybe hormones in red blood cells too that could help.
So it seems to depend on what your goal is.
If you have arthritis then maybe the PRP would be better to reduce inflammation, but if you have an acute injury like I do then I don’t think it will hurt to inject whole blood.
Actually it might hurt more initially in the few days prior. As I am updating this as we speak and I felt more pain after the injection. Now it’s 3 days later and the increased pain has gone down some.
This study said whole blood was a little more (6%) effective than PRP for treating tennis elbow.
I think more tests have been done around PRP than whole blood.
I could not find much information on whole blood injections and how they compare to PRP.
I do think that it might be better to take your blood in a fasted state. Eating does cause inflammation (no matter what you eat) and those markers may be in your blood when you draw it.
Some studies show that fasting for 24 hours or longer will increase stem cells in the body. Some said 24 hours and others 2-3 days.
And if that means they are floating around in your blood or if they are released after eating or before or where they are exactly I don’t know.
Some questions I had were:
Where is testosterone in your blood? (red cells or white cells)
Where is IGF-1 in your blood? (red or white cells)
I think those would help to heal an injury. It sounds like platelets are good, but are they the only good thing in blood that could help an injury?
Are ‘whole blood injections’ cause for concern?
I am not sure what I have read or completely understood some studies, so do correct me if I am wrong but I think I found a few studies suggesting whole blood injections into the knee could adversely affect it and cause articular cartilage damage.
Maybe many whole blood injections could be bad.
Not sure on this. I emailed one of the doctors on Researchgate I found to try to clarify what I read.
If I understand correctly this study with dogs suggests whole blood injections are bad. Although they used both “homologous” and autologous blood.
And it’s related to hemophilia.
This one suggests that if IL-4 or IL-10 is added no adverse affects are found.
Said that there are good things and bad things to blood in the joint.
Red blood cells bring oxygen to the area to help heal and repair, but said repeated exposure is “toxic” to articular cartilage.
He said that white blood cells are inflammatory, but consume bacteria and injured tissues.
And he said platelets are the ones that contain growth factors that stimulate healing.
In regards to the needle size
I did further research as maybe I was thinking the needle wasn’t long enough, but I found an interesting post saying that for thin individuals 1 inch is fine and for obese people 1.5 is better.
I used a 1 inch needle.
Now I feel more confident that the blood was injected into the knee since pain increased in the days following and I may have had some sort of leakage from the puncture to the knee capsule that leaked to the outside membranes, but not externally.
OG post… mid January 2020
In a previous post I mentioned I had a torn meniscus. Being the moron that I am I decided I wanted to give DIY prp (platelet rich plasma) a go.
I was super happy yesterday that my needles arrived. I wasn’t sure that they would since Japan is so strict and you can’t buy them here. I was actually so excited last night that I hardly slept.
Then today we got the rest of the tools we needed: some rubbing alcohol and alcohol wipes and then I went home to begin.
And I learned…
Withdrawing blood is hard.
Way harder than I thought.
I had very little luck. I went first for the veins they usually go for and once got a little with a syringe and doing it myself was very difficult with one hand and I was moving too much.
You need this thing called a butterfly needle adapter thingy.
So then I did a little more googling and saw that I could stick myself in the foot since that would be easier since I could use 2 hands.
But it wasn’t.
I probably stuck myself in the foot 20-30 times and then later I tried my hand (you can also do that). But no luck.
It’s easy to get under the skin, but not easy to get in the vein and draw blood. And then doing it to yourself makes it twice as hard.
About 2-3 hours later and probably like 50 or so needle pricks later I finally said, “what the hell”.
I’ll try my left hand and go into my right arm since those veins look big.
And I actually I had some luck.
With my left hand???
It’s really retarded though trying to do this yourself with the tools I had. But I managed to withdraw maybe 3-4ml of blood.
Yeah, it’s really scary at first sticking yourself with a needle, but then after a few times lesser so.
I did some googling before and saw some different make shift centrifuges to separate the platelets from the red blood cells.
I made one with a dremel tool I have and some of that instamorph moldable plastic.
I didn’t actually use it though.
Because I just spent like three hours trying to get blood and ideally I wanted to get two syringes full and actually inject both knees.
But I didn’t want to lose the blood that I had worked so hard to get should something go wrong with my DIY centrifuge and I didn’t really have a lot to begin with.
So next step.
This was way easier.
So I had watched a lot of videos on knee injections and decided to try it sitting.
You can get it done sitting or lying down depending on the doctor.
And some doctors will use an ultrasound too.
Since my injury is in the meniscus there is little blood flow there. So even if I inject pure blood in there it still has platelets and that can help, however it’s not as concentrated as the PRP.
Anyways I did it sitting.
Like the videos I saw I marked off the upper and lower bones and the patella tendon with a pen and then marked a spot with an unclicked pen in the middle roughly.
And of course clean the skin with alcohol before.
Then you want to inject towards the center of the knee so it’s at an angle.
You don’t want to hit the meniscus so you go about an thumbs width above it.
Took some concentration that’s for sure cause you don’t want to hit the bone, meniscus, or patella tendon.
So you are going in on an angle like roughly 45 degrees or so.
Yeah, so at first I felt a light prick and the needle is 1 inch long and I am going slow and then it breaks the skin, “ouch” and then it goes in a little and then I felt a give (which from what I learned was that was when it entered the knee capsule).
And then I slowly inserted it until all the way inside.
And then I made it all the way in (1 inch) so I try squeezing the blood out and it was kinda resistant and I had to squeeze it pretty hard.
I was a little frightened that I might suddenly move. Like when the doctor used to test your reflexes by tapping on your knee??
And be in a sh** load of pain.
But o.k we gradually fully injected the blood into the knee. And now we are slowly taking it out.
I did it.
It’s been about an hour and it feels a little sore and funny since there is more fluid in the knee.
At first there was a little swelling out side the knee so I thought maybe it didn’t go into the knee capsule.
I got a 1 inch needle and some said that was fine and one even said 13mm which I think is 3/4 of an inch, but most others said 1.5 inches. Next time I would get the 1.5.
So if it didn’t go into the knee capsule then that’s not good.
But I remember the “give” like they said. So I am hoping that it did. Anyways…
They say some pain after a shot is normal and I feel it so…
I am going to take it easy. And then in a week if I am still alive;-)
I’ll try it again.
With my learned lessons…
And I’m looking forward to BPC 157 (peptides were mentioned in the last post).
Since that is just an injection in the knee vs. trying to withdraw, separating the blood and re-injecting it.
It’s more simple and the results sound pretty good.
If you are crazy enough to try this… At least get a butterfly needle. That thingy or even better find a friend who is a nurse to withdraw your blood. That’s what I need.
The next steps won’t be nearly as hard.
I think making a centrifuge is not hard.
You can search.
It was almost a total failure, but I’d say I may have had some success if that blood when into the joint. The swelling initially on the outside of my knee after the injection made me think otherwise, but that went away.
I feel a little more pressure on the front side of my knee, but more pain inside now than at first which I think is good.
Next time will be a bit better.
Really PRP should be way cheaper. It’s way overpriced and it should be covered by insurance.
So what they do is…
Withdraw your blood, spin it in a machine, dump out the red blood cells, inject the rest of it into your injured area and then charge you $1000 (for one shot).
That’s what they charge here in Japan and in most other places I have seen.
Although in some places you may $500 or maybe even less in some countries.
Recently I have been studying and learning about peptides. It all started from a injury to my knee in judo/bjj. I tore my meniscus and in a previous post I was talking about my options and one of them I mentioned called BPC 157.
I’ve read a lot about it recently and it sounds really cool and maybe even better than PRP.
It’s orally active although you have to take maybe 2x the amount than if you inject it. Some of the other peptides can only be injected.
Very few side effects from most peptides…
For most of them you can’t overdose.
TB500 and BPC 157…
“The more you take the more it’s going to work” says, Jean Francois Tremblay below…
It accelerates the healing process of many things, but they are not so sure how.
Really good for the gut and…
Apparently they made some mice paraplegic and then gave them BPC and they started to regain some movement.
Although some people say it doesn’t work for them.
But from what I’ve learned it didn’t work because they didn’t take enough or they may have gotten poorer quality peptides.
Here are some links to BPC 157 and cartilage repair (both rat studies and human experiences)
Some bioactive peptides derived from Spirulina are under study for their ability to offer specific health benefits, such as antimicrobial, antiallergic, antihypertensive, anti-tumor, and immunomodulatory properties. Source.
And chlorella is on the way. Has some cool growth factor in it called CGF.
I remember being tied down to a stretcher totally wrapped up in sheets with my whole face covered except for a small place for my nose and mouth.
I couldn’t see and I couldn’t move.
Then during surgery he dropped a piece of cartilage that he cut out from my nose into my mouth.
After that I had to stay in the hospital for a day or two in an uncomfortable position and then I couldn’t breath through my nose at all for like a month and to top it off I don’t think it improved anything.
So you’ve read about the red and white zones right?
Conventional medicine says that if your tear is in the red zone it can heal (or be repaired) and if it is in the white zone it can’t heal.
Is that completely true?
Before I tell you about that…
Here’s one thing you can do.
1. SURGERY (repair or partial meniscectomy)?
You have 2 basic options for surgery (depending on the surgeon).
Here’s the first.
Shall we ‘trim’ your meniscus?
There goes your meniscus.
I wouldn’t do a partial meniscectomy.
This is where they remove the torn bit. It can reduce your symptoms very quickly, but…
I read very little good about this. And this is the more likely thing a surgeon will do.
Although some people can quickly return to sport and feel fine (see the Reddit thread link below), but the chance of early onset arthritis years later is high.
I remember one study that said that there was no better outcome between partial meniscectomies and sham surgeries.
If you cut it out (even a little) you alter the biomechanics of the knee. And one source said even cutting out as little as 10% increases risk of OA.
That was a Regennex (kind of PRP) video I think so they may have some self interests to say so, but other studies still said the more you cut out the greater your risk of arthritis.
If you cut it out you’ll have less cartilage where you are supposed to have it.
The other option for surgery…
Shall we try to ‘stitch’ your meniscus back together?
There seems to be a shift towards stitches when possible since the studies show that partial meniscectomy often leads to arthritis.
But it depends on the doctor.
Repair does sound better.
But it’s still not without risk.
Some doctors say that stitches and repair won’t work if the tear is in the white zone (non-vascular part) of the meniscus.
I would avoid these doctors as there are techniques out there…
Others say it can work and there are different techniques to encourage bleeding to help it heal.
I saw one Youtube video (sorry can’t remember which one) of a before and after stitch (1 year later) in the ‘white zone’ that healed.
You could see a scar of the stitch mark in the healed part (scoped).
And this also suggests (to be mentioned below) that the non-vascularized part of the meniscus does have some healing potential.
Which goes against popular opinion.
I read that in one study there is still a chance of 25% of failure or second op with repair. I saw two surgeons here in Fukuoka. One said he would go in and try to stitch it, but if the condition was bad cut it out.
I didn’t like that.
But I think a lot of surgeons will say that.
I saw a second one and he seemed against partial men. and pro stitches. But repair is like 5 months out and like 6 weeks on crutches.
And you are still placing a lot of trust in someone.
Both surgeons said PRP was like the 2nd best option but remember they are orthopedic surgeons.
Ask a surgeon what you should do he will probably say, “surgery” because that’s what he does.
There are some surgeons who will use stitches that don’t dissolve and even one guy in the linked-to thread below said he has anchors left in his knee from the surgeon that he can feel when he walks around.
I met one guy (Absenceofgoodnames) in this thread I started that had multiple surgeries on his knees and suggested that I wait. That might have affected me as there were some in that thread that had bad experiences with surgery and a fewer number not.
So I would do thorough research (and on your doctor and his methods) before trying any surgery.
Because different doctors have different methods and beliefs about what works and doesn’t.
Based on what I learned…
Maybe consider surgery especially if:
the tear is unstable
there is catching or locking
But maybe consider some other options first despite your pain and desire to ‘fix it’ now because it might not actually fix it and it could make it worse.
Yet, if you don’t do anything there is a chance that you will get arthritis too.
Unfortunately, there are 800,000 meniscus tears in the US annually, but only 10% are repaired. Source.
So I looked at a few papers. And what I gathered is that it gets it from synovial fluid, possibly the underlying bone and peripheral part that gets blood flow.
And I read one source that says there are blood cells in synovial fluid and another that said only minimal blood cells.
The transport of solute from the joint cavity into the cartilage can take place by two mechanisms:
(1) pure diffusion due to solute concentration gradient and (2) by mechanical pumping action. Source
…vascular recession does not significantly alter nutrient levels in the meniscus, reducing at most 5% of the nutrient content in the central portion of the tissue. Therefore, our analysis suggests that reduced vascularity is not likely a primary initiating source in tissue degeneration. However, it does feasibly play a key role in inability for self-repair, as seen clinically. Source
And remember those stem cell shots mentioned above?
Well, guess what you actually have some there right now.
So that suggests that even though there is no blood flow the synovial fluid does contain nutrients although lower in number.
Although relatively uncommon, spontaneous healing from a meniscus injury has been observed even within the avascular area. Source
It’s like a mix of saline or sugar injection that causes inflammation and then maybe healing. Not sure about it. Haven’t read much about this, but one doc was talking about combining it with testosterone and another with PRP.
Sounds less convincing than most other injections to me although better than something like cortisone or hyaluronic acid as the later are temporary fixes.
WHAT DOES A MENISCUS TEAR FEEL LIKE?
It effin hurts.
It feels a bit like a big cut and bruise in your knee.
Imagine if you sliced your foot open and then you walked around on barefoot on it.
That’s what it feels like.
Some people get catching and locking. Recently when I re-injured it I got some catching I think in certain positions. Although I haven’t experienced that lately that was closer to the time of injury.
Often on the ground and in newaza and BJJ sometimes. I would feel something hitting or snapping in there. It didn’t ever lock and I don’t want to push it there.
So we are chilling out until 100%. I hope I can get back to 100%.
I’ve had so I am being more cautious with this and feel like I have to intervene and do something. So I’ve so far done 2 blood injections and many injections of BPC 157.
So I was about 20-30 minutes into a hike here in Fukuoka and having a good conversation with myself when I heard some noise in the woods.
I stopped, looked and listened.
Then below me on the hillside I saw something moving. Was it a squirrel? Was it some sort of muskrat? No, I suddenly saw it and it was a wild boar.
He was pretty small and brown, but there was more noise and then I saw another run along the hillside below me. And then I looked down the trail in the direction I was heading and there was a big ugly one there staring at me.
For a second I felt spooked then I put my hands up in the air. He barked and ran off down the side of the hill.
So what they say works with bears and other wild animals works with wild boars and I didn’t even have to use my judo or jiu-jitsu^^
Perhaps that’s another form of jiu-jitsu.
First time I saw them in person. I’ve seen their marks and spots where they dig up the forest. And I even saw a skull of theirs once.
I see cages sometimes where they try to trap them so they might be a nuisance in Japan.
There’s a picture of one here. I think the big one I saw had tusks.
On Monday I did this competition again. This was the 2nd time. I had a tie and only got a half a point. So now I have 2.5 points.
This was taken from the other day when I did a judo competition at the Fukuoka Budokan. This competition is called “shodan shinsa” and it’s a test where if you get a certain number of wins you can qualify for a black belt.
It’s a bit anxiety producing and if you ever competed before you will know.
This was a draw.
Neither myself or opponent won so I only got a half of a point and was eliminated. If you lose or tie you get eliminated. To lose is zero points. In my first one I won two matches.
I almost got some submissions. An arm lock from reverse triangle in the beginning, but the ref called matte right when I was about to get it.
And another armbar, almost but not that time my technique might have needed an adjustment.
In judo they call matte pretty quick when you are on the ground.