Regenerative Therapy FAQ

Stem Cell Therapy / PRP are considered low risk compared to surgery, with better recovery and less complications. Surgery can be the best option for some advanced or severe cases, however most people prefer non-surgical treatment especially If it’s possible to improve or correct an injury without surgery.

Since we are using your own cells for healing, the inherent risks of stem cell therapy and PRP are lower compared to steroid injections and surgery. As with any injectable treatment there is risk of bleeding, pain, tissue injury, and possible no response to treatment. We minimize these risks by using standard protocols of sterility and safety and by using imaging guidance during all procedures.

In many people, this 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.

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.

As with any medical procedure, there is always a chance your treatment will not achieve the results desired. We offer a holistic approach to treating your pain. Our providers are extremely specialized in the field of pain and regenerative medicine. They will not recommend this therapy if it is not the best option for you, based on their medical opinion.

Steroid injections are useful tools for treating some pain conditions and are mostly covered by insurance. However, Steroid injections can offer short term pain relief and do not fix your problem permanently. The regenerative treatments are directed at the source of your injury, using your own tissue to regenerate. Besides offering pain relief, they are meant to improve the actual cause of your pain as well.

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 PRP we reassess 2 months after treatment. With stem cell therapy, 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.

It is highly unlikely that this treatment will worsen your condition.  In comparison to other types of treatments which can degrade tissue, stem cell therapy 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 to treatment.

For the stem cell procedure, your cells are obtained from the back of your hip, an area called the iliac crest, 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. We use image guidance to assure we are drawing from exactly the right place. Some patients experience some post aspiration soreness, but it is typically not as severe as many believe. Also, note this is not the same bone marrow aspiration procedure as the one performed on cancer patients which involves a deeper core biopsy and is more painful.

Most patients state that the procedure is less painful than a typical dental procedure.

Yes. FDA guidelines, which we adhere to, allow using a patient’s own cells and tissue to treat a medical condition if appropriate. Over manipulation and holding, including culturing or expanding cells for prolonged periods of time are not allowed.

You should avoid any anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), and Aleve 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 Stem Cell Therapy/ PRP injections as well.

Possibly.  This depends on what surgery you’ve had.  We sometimes see people who’ve previously had surgery and subsequently their condition progresses over time, or their pain has not subsided. Many of these patients may benefit from regenerative therapy.

Some of the conditions Regenerative medicine can treat are:

Knee, hip or shoulder Osteoarthritis

Tendon Injuries such as Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow, Rotator cuff, Achilles tendon

Hip tendons, Hip Bursitis and Patellar Tendon

Ligament Injuries: Knee (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) or Plantar Fasciitis

Non-healing Fractures

Unfortunately this therapy is not covered by insurance, however, some patients use their health savings accounts to pay for it.