Home 5 Frank's Column 5 An Update on Cartilage Repair

An Update on Cartilage Repair

Can an 81 year old gym rat regrow knee cartilage? It seems so.

In July 2020, I was ramping up my leg-press load to see if I could get back to 10 plates per side (1000 lb including the sled). When I got to 8 plates per side on my last set that day, my left knee really took a beating. I  knew I was hurt; my left knee was in serious pain and it showed no sign of healing over the next two weeks. There was no real improvement for the months after, and having read of the benefit of injecting adenosine in the knees of mice, I decided to try to somehow experiment on myself.

I began this experiment near the end of October 2020. I reasoned that if Adenosine injections worked in mice, I might be able to push adenosine monophosphate (available as a liposomal sublingual spray) using DMSO as a carrier, into the joint capsule of my knee. I bought Adenosine Blast, and mixed it 50-50 with 99% DMSO and applied that twice a day to both knees. I knew the DMSO was entering the joint capsule, because it eliminated all the pain in about 15 minutes; I hoped it was carrying the Adenosine Blast in with it. This would only work if there was sufficient amount of the specific enzyme that reduces adenosine monophosphate to adenosine still being produced within the knee joint to run the reaction.

I did this for 8 weeks, observing that both joints seemed to be moving more smoothly with less noise, but with virtually no improvement in comfort level; when the DMSO wore off, the left knee was still painful. I reasoned that I might be rebuilding cartilage, but not knocking down inflammation. I found the DMSO content irritated my skin, and used Renue Lotion from over this on all the applied areas, which soothed all that irritation. In addition, this lotion supplies trans-dermal NAD+ to the joint area, and hopefully is also carried into the joint capsule by the DMSO to aid in the repair.

At about 12 weeks into this exercise, I started researching Hyaluronic acid supplements, to see if I could improve the health of the synovial fluid in the joints and quell the inflammation more. I found an oral form of Na-Hyaluron called Baxyl+ (the “+” is CBD). It is a thick syrup that barely pours, but mixes with DMSO with a bit of stirring. I applied that by itself for 3 days and immediately notice reduction of lasting pain; I can sit and stand with no discomfort. I also take it orally (not with DMSO); the instructions were to start with two teaspoons/day for a week then reduce to 1/2 tsp/day. It has a pleasant-enough taste, so I will probably keep it up indefinitely. The gym I work at has closed yet again because of Covid-19, so I can’t really try to load the joint beyond body weight. I’ve continued to use both products twice a day (once mid day, and before bed), still not fully repaired, but the improvement is radical.

My left shoulder has no cartilage on the end of the humorus; it just pealed off one day, and I’ve had two surgeries, first to remove the chucks of cartilage jamming the joint and another to hopefully improve range of motion, but the joint is compromised and I have reduced range of outward rotation and considerable pain while approaching the end of that range. I have been using the two compounds on the shoulder joint as well for the same length of time, now approaching 15 weeks.

I’m running out of resolve, and find that I typically only apply these two materials once a day each, and then miss sometimes. It is now 2/16/21, and I’m not ready to consider pushing big loads in a leg workout. However, I have very little discomfort in both knees and can stand and sit with no distress and stairs are no problem. The shoulder is likewise less painful, so I feel that much has been accomplished. I can move about with no pain and confident that my knees will hold me, find myself not thinking about any potential pain. I have started doing partial-range squats with body weight, and that seems to be OK in sets of 15 reps. So I consider myself on the way back to past glory.

To your Greater Health and Fitness 


Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.

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