Our road trip through Mendoza was constantly punctuated by the massive 22,000 ft. Andean beauty of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Rising abruptly from a dry but fertile plain, Cerro Aconcagua glows in the sun’s low light, while trellised vineyards reach endlessly into its purple foothills.
My second medical teaching foray into Argentina, this journey was much fuller with Teresa, my wife of 39 years, by my side. Our hosts, Dr. Gaston Topol and Dr. Martin Sasol, showered us with their gracious Argentine hospitality. We lifted our spirits with laughter and glasses of Malbec from one small bodega to the next, learning the history and the tastes of soil and climate transformed into wine. Argentina is known as the Europe of South America partly because so many of the Italian, German, French and British traditions are nurtured, respected and kindled in families and communities throughout Argentina. Their homegrown wine craft is rooted in families who have tended the land for over 400 years.
We were in Mendoza officially for the 4th Congresso Latinoamericano de Medicina Musculo Esqueletica, and I was to present an all day workshop with my friend Dr. Jose Fabio Lana, a regenerative medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Together, Dr. Lana and I presented over 12 hours of lectures and demonstrations to over 200 doctors from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Columbia. Dr. Lana presented the latest research on PRP compositions from his laboratory, and I presented on the many practical applications of PRP in musculoskeletal, and neurological conditions. Fortunately for me, and for many in my audience, translators streamed both English and Spanish through wireless headphones.
Teresa and I traveled the next 2 weeks without an itinerary, touring Buenos Aires, the colonial city of Salta, then on to the port city of Rosario on the Rio Parana. In Rosario we were again embraced in Argentine hospitality by our friends Dr. Eziquiel Mailand and his lovely family. For me the highlight was rooting for the hometown soccer club, Newell’s Old Boys, in an arena that was thundering and electric with pride.
Regenerative medicine, especially prolotherapy and PRP, are rapidly gaining recognition in Latin America. Physicians are finding the treatments provide quick relief to most of the chronic degenerative orthopedic diseases that limit the lives of both Norte Americanos and Latinos. PRP also offers relief and rapid return to play for most patients suffering from acute and chronic injuries. Over the last 10 years I have been privileged to travel and teach regenerative medicine and prolotherapy in Latin America, befriending many doctors and others who share a passion for learning. Thank you my friends, there will always be a chamber in my heart that beats for the people of Argentina.