Since in Cincinnati, stem cell procedures are not covered by insurance, the cost of stem cell procedure for back pain is important to know as patients end up paying for this therapy out of pocket. For many, there is no cost or price that can be put on pain relief. Especially if the patient has been suffering for many years. However, I hear the following question frequently:
“What is the cost of Stem Cell procedure for Back Pain?”
Before I answer this question, I would like to first emphasize the importance of seeking care from a valid, legitimate clinic
Unfortunately, many “dubious” stem cell clinics have opened up in the last few years, taking advantage of desperate patients seeking pain relief. These clinics spend a lot of money advertising in newspapers and television to lure patients. The common theme of these clinics is that patients spend big bucks but do not get the pain relief they were expecting. In unfortunate cases, some even have complications.
So, save your money and agony. Make sure you consult with a legitimate clinic.
Now, the most difficult question. How do you tell if the medical center is for real? Are you getting you’re the worth of the cost of stem cell treatment?
These are the questions you should be asking your 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.
Now coming back to the important question. What is the cost of Stem Cell treatment for low back pain?
Stem cell transplant for back pain should range from $4000 to $6000 in the Cincinnati area. To get the best results, please make sure that the above criteria are met which I will summarize as
Make sure your physician is well-trained in spinal injections and stem cell procedures.
Make sure your physician is using Fluoroscopic guidance to perform the procedure.
Make sure you are getting your OWN Bone Marrow Stem Cells.
Make sure Stem Cells are injected into your Discs.
Good Luck and wish you do well with your procedure.