How to Choose the Right Stem Cell Facility
If you suffer from chronic knee, back, and joint pain and are looking for an alternative to surgery, you might consider stem cell treatment as an option.
However, as stem cell procedures grow in popularity, many stem cell clinics have started to make elaborate claims that have never been proven. These clinics often advertise a long list of stem cell procedures for assorted ailments.
The use of stem cell injections for the treatment of orthopedic issues, such as back pain or knee pain, is still one of the few medical applications backed by scientific research.
How can you tell what conditions stem cells can successfully treat and what clinics are legitimate? Here’s some valuable information to guide you in the right direction:
Characteristics of Legitimate Stem Cell Practices
To find a legitimate, trustworthy stem cell clinic, look for one that:
It Is Owned or Operated by a Licensed Physician
Many illegitimate stem cell clinics are owned by chiropractors who manage nursing staffs. They brand their clinics as sources for stem cell treatment even though they employ no MDs and do not have the necessary equipment for stem cell procedures. A legitimate stem cell clinic will be owned or operated by a licensed physician who ensures the success and safety of each procedure.
It Is Staffed by Trained Injection Specialists
Not only do illegitimate stem cell practices fail to employ licensed doctors, they also have untrained injection specialists, usually nursing staff. Stem cell injections require precision technique and full awareness of best practices. Only consider stem cell practices with experienced, trained injection specialists.
It Focuses Primarily on Treatment of Orthopedic Injuries
A clinic can inject stem cells almost anywhere in the body, but that doesn’t make the injections effective, or even safe. Be wary of clinics that claim their stem cell injections can treat systemic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease or MS. Proven uses for injections are limited to orthopedic applications such as knee and shoulder pain relief, and intradiscal stem cell treatment for back pain.
It Uses Autologous Cellular Sources
Legitimate stem cell practices derive stem cells from the patient (autologous cellular source). Autologous sources minimize immune system reactions and ensure your body accepts the stem cells without complications.
It Harvests Live Stem Cells from Bone Marrow Concentrate and Fat Tissue
Stem cell injections from an illegitimate stem cell clinic don’t always include live stem cells, and if they do use them, it’s not at a high enough volume for regeneration. They frequently use other biologics sourced from cord blood or amniotic tissue, which may not contain live stem cells in their injectable form.
Legitimate stem cell practices derive live stem cells directly from the patient’s bone marrow. Live stem cells are injected into the patient during the procedure. When used, stem cells sourced from bone marrow tissue maximizes healing. Bone marrow stem cells are ideal for four main reasons:
- Bone marrow stem cells are cleared for use by the FDA
- They are known to be safe for use
- They use the patient’s own cells
- The most clinical data available regarding the use of bone marrow stem cells
It Performs Image-Guided Procedures
Reputable stem cell practices use imaging to ensure precision placement of the stem cell injection for each procedure. It’s imperative that your medical professional places the injection at the target site both above and below the surface. Most illicit clinics forgo image-guided stem cell injections due to equipment cost and lack of training.
It Will Provide Patient Reviews and Detailed Case Studies
Ask for authentic patient reviews and detailed case studies about the clinic’s patients. Legitimate stem cell practices document their own case studies to monitor results and improvement with each procedure. If a clinic cannot or will not produce these for you, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Common Stem Cell Procedures for Orthopedic Applications
Joint and Soft Tissue Stem Cell Treatments
Stem cell procedures performed by legitimate stem cell clinics successfully treat joint and soft tissue injuries including severe knee, hip, and shoulder pain. If you have ailments such as “golfer’s elbow” (tennis elbow) and chronic osteoarthritis (OA), stem cell injections can give you dramatic pain relief and improved bodily function.
More acute injuries such as partial ligament and tendon tears can also be successfully treated with stem cell procedures. Increasingly, stem cell treatments are becoming a viable alternative to joint replacement surgery, as these procedures often improve post-surgical recovery times.
Intradiscal Stem Cell Treatment
Intradiscal stem cell treatment can relieve low back pain due to degenerative disc disease and can be beneficial to those who’ve already undergone back surgery. If you continue to experience pain and discomfort in your back or leg after a previous back surgery, then you may still be a candidate for stem cell injections.
Stem cell therapy reduces inflammation and pain while improving hydration and increasing disc height. Many find that this procedure is a viable alternative to spinal fusion and a successful treatment for spinal facet disease.
Minneapolis Stem Cell Doctor and Pain Management Clinic
If you’re looking for chronic pain relief and an alternative to surgery, Twin Cities Pain and Regenerative Medicine is here to help you find a solution.
Dr. Constantine Starchook is a licensed MD of anesthesiology specializing in interventional pain management. Over twenty years of experience have equipped him with the skills and resources necessary to safely and effectively relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.
Dr. Starchook remains on the cutting-edge of his field, staying current on the latest research and developments in stem cell therapy. In 2018, he and his team conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of treatments given to patients at their clinic. Their study revealed notable and progressive improvements in the treated patients, further proving the tremendous benefits of the stem cell injections and regenerative medicine they provide.
If you’d like to explore your options and learn more about our procedures, please get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help.