• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: An active life restored, thanks to regenerative medicine

December 9, 2018

Sharing Mayo Clinic patient Rick Amatuzio smiling with Dr. Qu in an exam roomFor years, Rick Amatuzio lived with severe back pain that kept him from the active life he'd always savored. But advanced diagnostic tests and regenerative medicine therapy at Mayo Clinic ultimately led to a complete recovery. Now Rick once again can play sports and enjoy the outdoors free from pain.   

A typical weekend for Rick Amatuzio involves playing two rounds of golf, riding his motorcycle and mountain biking. But less than two years ago, the active motocross champion couldn't get out of bed or stand up straight. Debilitating back pain kept him from doing many of the activities he'd once enjoyed.

"I can recall crawling to the bathtub many mornings on my hands and knees in an attempt to loosen my body for the upcoming day," Rick says. "You feel helpless, emptiness, and like there's nowhere to turn for help to improve the situation."

Rick finally found the help he needed when he sought care at Mayo Clinic in 2017. Wenchun Qu, M.D., Ph.D., a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine, offered Rick a treatment that involved injecting stem cells into his spine. It worked. Now Rick's pain is gone.

"Dr. Qu is one of the best doctors I've ever seen," Rick says. "He didn't make promises, yet he gave me a lot of hope." Read the rest of Rick's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.