In 2011, during the NBA lockout, NBA all star Brandon Roy announced his retirement from basketball. Brandon had played for the Portland Trail Blazers since 2006, and prior to that had been the recipient of several Player of the Year awards during his time playing in the NCAA for the Washington Huskies. Years of basketball had caused the cartilage between his bones to degenerate, leaving him barely able to walk comfortably, let alone play basketball.
Later that year Roy underwent stem cell therapy, allowing him to return to the NBA as a free agent in 2012. The procedure Roy received was similar to a procudure that Kobe Bryant underwent to keep his knees healthy as well. In the process of repairing the knees, bone marrow is removed from the patient and cells are isolated from the bone marrow. These stem cells consist of mesenchymal (MSC)and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), progenitor cells and platelets.
The combination of MSC, HSC, progenitor cells and platelets are introduced to the knee and work together to repair the tissues, cartilage and ligaments that are damaged. The procedure is non-invasive and extremely successful – after approximately six months, the patient will notice a full turnaround and be able to return to their normal activities.