Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of Regenerative Medicine techniques do we offer?
We offer an entire range of regenerative medicine interventions. Prolotherapy involves injecting medications that encourage your body to bring its own natural wound healing response to an injured area (like a scab healing skin). Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections concentrate growth factors that are taken from your own blood to initiate an even stronger repair response.
Stem Cell therapy is reserved for those tough to treat soft tissue cases, joint space narrowing associated with arthritis, and peripheral neuropathies or vascular disease. While it is still controversial if Stem Cell therapy can regenerate bone, the symptoms of joint space narrowing clearly improve. There is good evidence that new arteries can be grown in limbs so patients with vascular disease, neuropathy, restless legs or RSD now have treatment option not previously available.
Percuatneous Tenotomy is a closely related regenerative treatment. In this instance Ultrasound Guidance is used to direct a fine needle that pierces the skin. After numbing, the underlying tendon or fascia is pierced about 100 times to generate a wound healing response. Compare this to feathering a horse’s tail. Putting a PRP patch on after a tenotomy creates an even stronger repair response.
Where do the stem cells come from?
We only use your own stem cells. We harvest them from either bone marrow (the iliac crest) or from fat (the stomach or buttock). These are not embryonic cells and they are not taken from another person. They are not manipulated either. We stay strictly within FDA Guidelines.
Is Regenerative Medicine safe?
Like any medical procedure regenerative medical treatments carry some risk with them however in general these procedures are quite safe. The most common side effects are short term discomfort (days for percutaneous tenotomy and Platelet Rich Plasma, and weeks for Stem Cell). Other common side effects include bleeding, infection, and swelling.
Does it work?
Yes! Eighty percent of Stem Cell patients get 50% relief and fifty percent of patients get 80% relief. The success rate is even higher with PRP and percutaneous tenotomy. Combining techniques increases the success rate. There are hundreds of published studies that attest to the effectiveness of regenerative medicine treatments.
Why Regenerative Medicine instead of surgery?
If you have end stage disease surgery may be the first option, however even then regenerative medicine therapy can be effective. If you have comorbid disease, are too heavy, too young, or too old you may not be a candidate for surgery. In mild to moderate cases regenerative medicine offers a great alternative. No operating room time is required and that cuts expense dramatically. Usually only light pain medication is required and depending upon which procedure is done you can go back to work the same day. In short, the results are great, the time needed to do the procedure is short, there is no general anesthesia, and you can go about your normal daily routine afterwards.
Can I afford it?
Our regenerative medicine procedures are very competitively priced. We have frequently been told that our charges are much less than other regenerative medicine centers. Frequently prolotherapy injections and percutaneous tenotomy procedures are covered by insurance. We make PRP treatments as cost effective as possible by reducing the price when combined with tenotomy or trying to treat up to two areas at one time if possible.
Our charges for Stem Cell are also very cost effective; they are only a fraction of the price for more invasive procedures such as arthroscopy or joint replacement. Stem Cell charges include the cost to do the harvest, separate, and prepare the stem cells from harvested tissue, the cost of the kit, use of the equipment needed for the procedure, and the cost of implantation of your stem cells back into the injured tissues. If PRP on the day of the harvest and implantation is required then it is included in the Stem Cell price. All stem cell patients should plan on getting a PRP booster about one month later.
Will you file my insurance?
Whenever possible Insurance is filed for prolotherapy and percutaneous tenotomy procedures. PRP and Stem Cell therapies are non-covered and not filed however. Insurance rules do change overtime; if they ever change to allow coverage for PRP or Stem Cell then naturally we will file your insurance for you. Currently however, even if the carrier tells you they will cover PRP and Stem Cell, they do not pay for them. Since we have worked so hard to reduce the price of these procedures iIf you want us to file PRP and Stem Cell anyway there will be a charge associated with it. Also insurance rules will have to be followed. That can mean the filed charge will be different then the self-pay price we have offered you. We generally don’t recommend that people try to file for services that are known to not have coverage. Please feel free to speak to one of our insurance experts if you have further questions.