6 Questions to Ask About Stem Cell Therapy
With Regenerative Therapy becoming the latest remarkable advancement in treating and healing people with osteoarthritic joint pain, there’s been an increase in clinics offering this service.
At Eastside Medical Group in Shaker Square, we have recently expanded our suite of Regenerative Therapy services to include treatments like Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) to umbilical cord blood (with live stem cells).
Our doctors are on staff every single (business) day with us helping people live pain-free.
Consumers should be aware of the misinformation that is widely circulated by clinics offering unproven treatments and flying in doctors from out-of-state for a day or two to perform the procedures, who are not involved in aftercare.
If you are considering any Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy, do your research. Find out the history of the office, what treatment entails, and what the recovery will be like.
Make sure to ask these questions as well when considering Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy:
What are the qualifications of the physician or medical team? How long have they been doing the injections?
Find out their training and experience with Regenerative Therapy.
Our Nurse Practioner, Jessica Gross, is on staff daily and has successfully performed hundreds of joint injections in our office.
Do you use a live stem cell product?
Bone marrow is one of the more well-known sources of adult stem cells, but research has uncovered that bone marrow cells lose abundance and potency with age.
Adipose-derived stem cells are another option clinics are using – these stem cells need to be spun down in a centrifuge and manipulated with chemical additives before injection.
While the chance of rejection is next to zero with both of these, the effectiveness is greatly reduced than if using an immune-privileged live stem cell product like umbilical cord blood containing mesenchymal stem cells.
Umbilical cord blood and amniotic allograft are most used at Eastside Medical Group. Here is a brief breakdown of each:
- Donors are selected following an intensive and complete medical review and pre-natal evaluation prior to delivery
- Contains growth factors and an abundant amount of live cells, including stem cells
- Derived exclusively from the umbilical cord after live c-section delivery of a baby
- Immune-privileged so there is no chance of rejection.
- Acellular, frozen, non-irradiated, 100% pure amniotic fluid allograft
- Retains its bioactivity with more than 200 growth factors proven present as well as hyaluronic acid and cytokines
- Membrane and chorion free
- Able to be injected through as small as a 30 gauge needle
Our products are FDA regulated as a human cell and tissue product (HCT/P) and are intended for homologous (human to human) use.
What kind of results can I expect? Do you have patient testimonials from your clinic specifically?
While we’re seeing great outcomes with Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy, like all things in medicine, there are no guarantees.
Most patients feel a difference in pain and inflammation almost immediately. Clinically we expect significantly improved function in 1-3 months.
At Eastside Medical Group we have in-house testimonials, including our very own Dr. McKeigan, who experienced great results with PRP in his shoulder.
How much will the treatment cost?
For now, most of these Regenerative Therapies are not covered by insurance, do not let anyone tell you different.
Our office provides not only an affordable price model but we also offer financing options that offer excellent payment plans; we also accept most major credit cards.
How are you sure of where the injection goes and if the stem cells are placed where needed most?
Make sure that the physician knows how to accurately inject the stem cells into the actual damaged or degenerated area of the joint; this is the only way for them to be fully effective.
Make sure your provider will use some form of imaging (ultrasound or fluoroscopy) to guide the injection. Do not go if the clinic is using a “blind injection” technique.
All of our Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy injections are performed by our Nurse Practioner, Jessica Gross, with guided ultrasound.
What kind of follow-up treatments are needed?
Post-injection healing and treatments are important for maximizing your results.
A lot of clinics offer the injection and send you home with instructions for rehabilitation, with only a few follow-up appointments afterward. It is highly important to ask what the rehabilitation plan is and what the do’s and don’ts are following the injection.
At Eastside Medical Group, we treat the patient as a whole. Your rehabilitation plan may include any combination of the following:
- Postural Assessments
- Core Strengthening Exercises
- Clinical Massage
- Trigger Point Therapy