Stem cell therapies are becoming more popular in the recent past as patients are seeking alternative relief for their joint and back pain.
Since stem cell procedures are not covered by insurance, the cost of stem cell therapy for back pain and knee pain is crucial to understand for patients will be paying out of pocket for.
With that being said, you simply can not put a price on pain relief. If you’ve tried physical therapy, surgery, injections, and they have failed you, stem cell therapy can be a great option to treat your lower back and knee pain.
How much is stem cell therapy for back and knee pain?
The cost of stem cell therapy can vary depending on the procedure needed as well as the stem cells being used for the procedure.
The typical cost of stem cell therapy for lower back and knee pain ranges from $4,000 – $10,000. In certain areas of the country, the surgery can cost more. However, in Cincinnati this surgery costs between $4,000 – $6,000.
Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?
Due to stem cell therapy being a fairly new practice, most health insurance providers do not cover the expense of the procedure.
However, although insurance companies do not pay for stem cell treatment, they may cover the initial consultation with a stem cell therapist. Be sure to consult your health care provider before visiting a stem cell practitioner.
How long do stem cells last?
After surgery, it may take a week to fully feel the effect of stem cell therapy. However, the results will last substantially longer than traditional surgeries. You can expect years of pain relief from stem cell procedures.
Only seek care from a valid, legitimate clinic. Be aware of stem cell clinics that make dubious claims.
When seeking out a professional stem cell physician, keep the following in mind:
Ensure your physician is well-trained in spinal injections and stem cell procedures.
Ensure your physician is using Fluoroscopic guidance to perform the procedure.
Ensure your stem cells are extracted from bone marrow.
Ensure the physician will safely inject the stem cells into your discs if you’re suffering from back pain.
Questions you should be asking your stem cell doctor:
1. ARE YOU USING BONE MARROW STEM CELLS?
Only Bone Marrow Stem Cells are allowed by the FDA. There are a lot of studies showing their efficacy and safety. Properly trained and ethical physicians use only these cells. Since it requires special training and expertise to meticulously extract stem cells from bone marrow, most sham clinics use Amniotic or Umbilical cord stem cells. They can buy these stem cells off the shelf – it’s so much easier. Currently, there is not a single study in medical literature showing the efficacy or safety of amniotic or umbilical cord stem cells. Additionally, they are not FDA approved. More importantly, Amniotic and Umbilical Stem Cells are not your cells. Bone Marrow Stem Cells are YOUR cells. If your cells can cure you, why would you want to use some else’s cells? Some clinics use stem cells derived from fat. These are also not approved by the FDA. So, if the doctor wants to inject either Amniotic/Umbilical cord blood or Fat Stem Cells, thank them for their time and leave. Make sure you only get Bone Marrow Stem Cells.
2. DO YOU USE FLUOROSCOPIC OR ULTRASOUND GUIDANCE TO INJECT STEM CELLS?
Pain relief from stem cells requires their precise placement in the painful areas of the spine. Numerous studies have shown that “blind injections” [without Fluoroscopic or Ultrasound guidance] even by experienced physicians often misses the mark. Missed target = no pain relief. It is impossible to inject some important structures in the back like discs without using Fluoroscopy. So, make sure fluoroscopic guidance is used to inject stem cells in the back. Make sure Fluoroscopic or Ultrasonic guidance is used.
3. DO YOU INJECT MY DISCS?
Although muscles and ligament in the back can cause pain, the main culprit is the disc. This has been shown in many studies. If discs are not injected, the odds of pain relief are low. Studies have also shown that in addition to discs, facet joints and sacroiliac joints also cause back pain. Legitimate clinics inject disc mostly and sometimes include the above mentioned joints as well. In fact, all the studies for stem cells in the back have been done only on discs. Sham clinics usually inject muscles and ligaments, ignoring discs which is the main pain generator. They do not like to inject discs because it is technically challenging and requires a lot of training and expertise. Make sure your discs are injected.
4. IS THE PHYSICIAN PERFORMING THE PROCEDURE WELL TRAINED AND QUALIFIED?
Most of the sham clinics have physicians who are not board certified or specialized in spine care. Only physicians trained in spine should be injecting stem cells in spine. Precise placement of the needle in the disc safely is technically challenging. Discitis is a known complication from this procedure. Although rare, it is a serious complication. Every attempt should be made by the physician to prevent it. Timely diagnosis and treatment is a key for recovery. So it’s imperative that a well-trained and qualified physician is performing the procedure. Make sure the physician is well-trained and qualified to do spinal procedures.
At StemCures, Dr. S. Atluri uses YOUR own bone marrow stem cells to inject mostly discs under fluoroscopic guidance. He is the only physician in the area who is certified by ASIPP in regenerative medicine. He has been performing spinal procedures for more than 20 years. This results in better patient care and excellent outcomes.
If you’re ready to resolve your pain, talk to one our qualified stem cure professionals and set up a free consultation.