This is an evolving FAQ regarding the regenerative treatments we offer in the clinic. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

How do the different regenerative treatments compare to each other?

Dextrose prolotherapy: this is our mildest treatment offered. It can help with mild to moderate problems. It typically takes 3 to 6 treatments to heal or manage most musculoskeletal conditions, with a range of 1 to 10. These treatments are generally separated by 1 month.

Platelet rich plasma: This is a stronger treatment and is equal to about 3 prolotherapy treatments. We use this for moderate to more severe conditions. For most people they will require 2 to 3 treatments, with a range of 1 to 5. Treatments are separated by 2 months.

Stem cells: We use stem cells for moderate to severe orthopedic conditions. It is equivalent to approximately 3 PRP treatments. Effectiveness is stronger and lasts longer compared to the other regenerative treatments. Repeat stem cell treatments are considered at 6-12 month intervals.

  

What sort of problems and injuries do you treat?

We use the regenerative procedures to treat arthritis, tendinitis, ligament injuries, and certain peripheral nerve conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Do you treatment non orthopedic conditions?

No.

 

What is the clinic’s experience with regenerative treatments?

We’ve been doing PRP treatments since 2009 and stem cell treatments since 2012.

 

How do you stay up to date with the rapidly evolving field of regenerative medicine?

The field of regenerative medicine is changing fast. It’s important to be plugged into networks and groups that are leading this field forward. The Regenexx center has a full basic science and engineering lab working on creating the tools for the future of regenerative medicine. As an affiliate of the Regenexx network, we are offering the newest and most advanced regenerative treatments available.

 

Do I need to have an MRI for my condition?

For most cases we prefer to have an MRI of the injured joint or tendon. An MRI shows the doctor the entire structure of the joint including the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. X-Rays only show spacing between the bone and limits what we need to see to help you avoid surgery and utilize your body’s own cells to treat your orthopedic condition.

 

Why should I consider a regenerative treatment instead of surgery?

While for some advanced or severe issues surgery is the best option, usually that is not the case. Regenerative treatments are considered low risk compared to surgery which has risks of anesthesia and blood loss. In addition surgeries where tissue is cut has the added potential detriment of removing tissue that typically is meant to stabilize and support a joint. If it’s possible to improve or correct an injury without surgery, it’s always worthwhile to consider those options preferentially.

 

What are the risks involved in regenerative treatments?

Due to the low risk nature of using your own cells for healing, the inherent risks of regenerative treatments are lower than compared to steroid injections and surgery. As with any injectable treatment there is the risk of bleeding, pain, tissue injury, and of course no response to treatment. We minimize these risks by using standard protocols of sterility and safety. In addition by using imaging guidance during all procedures, we minimize the risk of tissue injury as well.

 

If I have severe arthritis, can I still benefit from a regenerative treatment?

Yes. It will likely take more treatments if you have severe arthritis, but improvement in pain and function is still very possible.

 

Will these treatments regrow damaged tissue?

In many people treatment can regrow cartilage or damaged tendon tissue. In more severely damaged situations that may not occur, or it may take repeat treatments to show improvement. Note that pain relief and functional improvement can occur even when tissue does not regrow.

 

How can I still benefit if my tissue regrowth is only mild or does not occur?

In an arthritic joint there is an elevation of chemicals called cytokines. Reducing these chemicals can lead to pain relief. The regenerative treatments can beneficially reduce these levels. This may be one reason that people even with severe arthritis can benefit from treatment.  In addition we use the regenerative treatments to strengthen the supporting ligaments around your injured joint which helps with pain relief as well.

 

If I have mild or moderate arthritis, am I more likely to benefit from treatment?

Yes. Less severe orthopedic conditions and overall good general health predict a better response to treatment.

 

Is there a chance I may not respond to treatment?

As with any medical procedure, there is a chance your treatment will not achieve the results desired. We emphasize taking a comprehensive approach to your treatment which includes physical therapy, nutritional, and supplements along with your regenerative treatment.

 

How do these treatments compare to steroid injections?

Steroid injections offer short term pain relief. They do not fix your problem. The regenerative treatments are directed at the source of your injury. Besides offering pain relief, they are meant to improve the actual cause of your pain as well.

 

How long will it take for my pain to improve with a regenerative treatment?

These treatments do not work fast. If you have an acute injury, improvement can be seen over weeks. For chronic injuries and pain, we gauge improvement over months. With prolotherapy we reasses 1 month after treatment. With PRP we reasses 2 months after treatment. With stem cell treatment you should expect improvement over 3-6 months.  Number of treatments to heal or manage your condition depends on severity and duration of your condition.  During your evaluation with the physician it will be discussed how many treatments to expect it will take to treat your condition.

 

Can these treatments worsen my condition?

Unlikely. In comparison to steroid injections which can degrade tissue, these treatments can strengthen tissue. While discomfort after a treatment can occur, this will pass after a few days. With any injectable treatment there are risks of bleeding, tissue injury, pain, and no response.

 

Can stem cells cause tumors where they are injected?

Thus far in the medical literature there are no reports of autologous mesenchymal stem cells (stem cells that come from you) causing cancer/tumors. Taking cells from a different person or embryo and implanting into someone else has that theoretical risk, but that’s not what we are doing. More than anything else, there are no reported pro-cancer effects of autologous stem cell treatment reported not just from Regenexx affiliated physicians, but in the entire medical literature from many different medical centers and physicians in the world.

 

Does the bone marrow aspiration hurt?

For the stem cell procedure your cells are obtained from the back of your hip via a bone marrow aspiration.  Any needle insertion results in some pain. We try to minimize the pain of a bone marrow aspiration by adequately numbing the area. In addition we use imaging guidance to assure we are drawing from exactly the right place. It is not unusual to have some post aspiration soreness, but it is typically not as severe as many believe. Also note that the typical bone marrow aspiration procedure people are aware of is the one taken in cancer patients which involves a deeper core biopsy which illicits more pain.

 

Are treatments legal?

Yes. Using your own cells and tissue to treat a medical condition is allowed if appropriate FDA guidelines are followed. Over manipulation and holding cells for prolonged periods of time are not allowed. The procedures we use are consistent with minimal manipulation and same day treatment guidelines.

 

How do I prepare for my treatment?

You should avoid any anti-inflammatory drugs such as advil, ibuprofen, and alleve 1 week before and 2-4 weeks after treatment. We will let you know what other medications to minimize or avoid. Let us know if you are taking any blood thinner medications as well.

Generally speaking a low carbohydrate diet, regular exercise, and cutting out tobacco and excess alcohol are helpful for the regenerative treatments as well. We will also provide you a list of the nutritional supplements that can help with stem cell counts.

 

If I already have had surgery, can I still receive a regenerative treatment?

Possibly.  It depends on what surgery you’ve had done. We frequently see people who’ve previously had surgery and subsequently have their condition progress over time. Many of these people can still benefit from treatment. If you’ve had a total joint replacement and still have pain, you will need to followup with your surgeon regarding the replacement hardware. Also keep in mind that your pain generator may derive from a different location than your replaced joint.

 

Can my regenerative treatment be used to augment my surgical procedure?

Possibly. After certain surgeries an add on regenerative treatment may be beneficial. For example after micro fracture surgery adding PRP or stem cells may have an additive effect. Another example is after meniscus excision surgery adding your own cells may help in repairing the meniscus that has been removed. These decisions need to be made on a case by case basis.

 

How do you maintain patient safety throughout these procedures?

Patient safety is paramount to us and we utilize a number of different methods to assure this.
♦As a member of the Regenexx network we follow standardized protocols that have been studied by the research department at Regenexx. These standardized protocols are meant to assure safety and efficacy of the treatments we are using.
♦Using imaging guidance during all our procedures minimizes risks during your injection treatment. We are only treating the areas that need to be treated, and this is confirmed by imaging.
♦Preparation of any blood products is done within a sterile hood setting.
♦We follow standards and best practices in cell based medicine set by the International Cellular Medicine Society, an organization we are a member of.
♦From physician to nurses, regular training of our staff with Regenexx and internally to confirm existing protocols and to learn new ones is an ongoing process.
♦For our patients treated with PRP or Stem cells, they are followed long term by the Regenexx research staff in regards to efficacy of treatment and side effects. This commitment to research and standardization is what makes the Regenexx network strong.

Do you offer payment plans?

No we do not.

 

We understand that as a cash procedure, patients need to have a good understanding of what the typical costs are for each type of treatment. The information below provides typical price ranges for regenerative procedures, with yellow representing the average price for each procedure.

ca_procedure_pricing

*The Entire Regenexx Stem Cell Treatment Protocol is included in the pricing above. Details follow:

The Regenexx Stem Cell Protocol - More Than a Same-Day Stem Cell Procedure

The Regenexx Stem Cell Procedure is designed to achieve the best possible result. Through several years of testing on thousands of patients, Regenexx has developed a protocol that has demonstrated the best possible patient outcomes. This entire protocol is typically part of a Regenexx Stem Cell Procedure and is included in the pricing range shown above.

Prolotherapy Pre-Injection: This injection is designed to prepare the joint/tissue for the stem cell transplant. The purpose is to help stabilize the affected joint by tightening supporting ligaments. The injection uses a dextrose concentration or platelet concentration that causes mild inflammation that stimulates increased blood flow and your own resident stem cells to begin to differentiate and proliferate. This visit usually takes less than one hour.

Stem Cell Transplant: You will be scheduled to start your stem cell day with a morning appointment where your specialist will aspirate bone marrow from your hip and blood drawn from your arm, in a comfortable procedure that takes from 30 to 45 minutes. This procedure should not be confused with a bone marrow biopsy which usually is very painful. The aspiration is done with local anesthesia and is very well tolerated with a minimum of pain and discomfort. Your marrow and blood is then processed in our on –site laboratory and is ready in about 90 minutes. Then your transplant procedure is performed and takes from 45 to 90 minutes.

Platelet Procedure Post-Injection: This includes the Regenexx Super Concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma Procedure and the Platelet Lysate Procedure as it contains concentrated platelets and platelet lysate (pure growth factors) derived from your blood. You will have your blood draw, processed in the lab and then injected in your tissue. The entire visit takes about 2 hours.

Insurance Coverage

Today's newest regenerative injection procedures, such as Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Procedures are not covered by insurance. However, some portions of the entire process are covered as shown below.

coverage

 

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