By John N. Mitchell The Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — New 76ers center Andrew Bynum will head to Germany in early September to have the same procedure on his knee that Kobe Bryant, Grant Hill and Alex Rodriguez have undergone, according to a West Coast source.
Bynum has had surgery on both knees. It is unknown whether the procedure will be performed on one knee or both. According to the source, Bynum’s knees are fine and the procedure, which has been used to treat osteoarthritis, is nonsurgical.
The procedure, known as Orthokine/Regenokine, will be performed by Peter Wehling, founder of the Center for Molecular Orthopaedics in Düsseldorf. Though it is not yet performed in the United States, it is similar to another blood-spinning treatment that has gained popularity, known as platelet-rich plasma. In that procedure, the goal is to produce a high concentration of platelet cells, which are believed to speed the healing process. Wehling’s procedure differs in that he uses the patients’ own blood to produce a high concentration of anti-inflammatory proteins, rather than the platelets, which he injects into the troubled joint.
Bynum dislocated his left knee cap in January of the 2007-08 season and in May of that season underwent arthroscopic surgery. He also underwent surgery on his right knee following the 2009-10 season.
His recovery from that surgery took longer than expected and, as a result, Bynum appeared in only 54 games in the 2010-11 season.
However, in what has to be considered a good sign for Bynum and the Sixers, Bynum had the best season of his career in the lockout truncated season. Bynum appeared in 60 of 66 possible games and averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. The 35.2 minutes he played per game is the highest total in the 24-year-old’s seven-year career.
Bynum appeared in just 204 of a possible 328 games from the 2007-08 season through the 2010-11 season.
According to the source, Bynum is not feeling any pain in his knees. However, the center wants to explore any options that will help to prolong their health. According to the source, Bynum was so impressed with the results that Bryant experienced after having a knee treated last season that he agreed that exploring the procedure was a viable option.