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AJC: Julio Jones Received Experimental Stem Cell Procedure On Ankle

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution had a huge update on Julio Jones' injury, health and a new procedure where Julio is the "test case".

Julio Jones is always strapped up, even when there are no football games.
Julio Jones is always strapped up, even when there are no football games.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Only three years ago Peyton Manning underwent stem cell therapy, a procedure so successful his neck is now strong enough to hold up a crippling Super Bowl loss. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones received a similar, experimental procedure. The article helps shed some light on Jones' injury, information the Falcons usually hide in a secret room 500-feet underneath Flowery Branch. How did DLed get past the optical scanner and laser-wire alarms?

The full article is definitely worth a read.

First, everyone is wondering how Jones looks. One of my biggest concerns would be constant injuries zapping explosiveness.

The Falcons offseason program ended with Jones, off to the side, running 40-yard dashes under the watchful eye of Lauzon and strength coach A.J. Neibel. He appeared to be moving very well as he’s trying to comeback from the second major surgery on the same foot.

Luckily, that does not seem to be the case.

The article confirms that Jones had a larger screw inserted into his foot to repair the same bone he had previously broken before he was drafted. Jones had bone marrow fluid and bone marrow cells removed from his hip and injected around his problematic foot bone.

What does that mean? As someone who occasionally pretends to be a doctor, I cannot say for sure. Luckily DLed went and asked a real doctor.

It has not been studied if an elite athlete can recovery from second surgery on the same foot with a bigger screw and bone-marrow treatment, according to Dr. Alexis Colvin, an associate professor of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The second screw that was re-inserted is 6 millimeters in diameter.

"If he bent the screw … you would try to put a bigger screw in there because that would help with the fixation between the broken bones," said Colvin, who has cared for players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. "The bone marrow is going to help bring all of those critical factors together to help try to get that area to heal."

Jones’ hip should not be affected by the removal of the bone marrow.

"The marrow is inside the bone, so there shouldn’t be any long-term problem for it," Colvin said.

According to the article, the specific bone Jones has twice injured can be problematic. The bone can break because some feet put too much pressure on the specific bone, and the bone is sometimes hard or slow to heal due to limited blood supply.

The new stem cell therapy will hopefully fix these issues, allowing Jones to heal both quickly and completely and help prevent the issue from becoming chronic. But as the article says, Jones is in "uncharted medical territory."

There seems to be some cautious optimism regarding the injury and the Falcons are bring Julio along slowly while likely monitoring the ankle.