Thousands of people across the country are looking towards stem cell therapy for a wide array of conditions and avoid surgery. That number would be much higher if patients were more informed about the treatment options available to them. Separating myth from fact can be difficult when misconceptions about stem cells are so widely believed but dumping the myths could save you from costly and invasive surgery. If you have chronic orthopedic conditions, degenerative disease or autoimmune disease this information is invaluable to your care going forward.
MYTH 1: Stem cells for stem cell therapy come from embryos, so the procedure is unethical and dangerous.
There are some countries around the world who offer embryonic stem cell treatments, but the treatment is banned in the US. Most stem cell treatments being performed in the US are autologous treatments which means the donor of the stem cells and the patient receiving the stem cells are one in the same. Autologous stem cell procedures eliminate any risk of foreign cell rejection. If bone marrow is used, doctors use your stem cells from your own body and relocate them for maximum healing potential. Autologous stem cell treatments also cut the risk of infections or adverse reactions to the procedure.
Stem cells for autologous stem cell treatments are most commonly derived from bone marrow and blood. Your doctor will perform an extraction procedure to harvest your stem cells for the treatment depending on your care plan. Blood stem cell extractions are less invasive procedures than bone marrow extraction. For blood-based therapies like PRP, extraction is a simple blood draw. Usually, bone marrow stem cells are harvested from your hip bone with a local anesthetic as well.
Advancements in stem cell therapies have opened a new world of proven, effective, regenerative treatments that don’t involve any ethical conflicts or unnecessary risks.
MYTH 2: Stem cell therapies are too expensive to be an alternative option for me.
Let’s be honest, no medical treatment is free these days, and the rising cost of healthcare is taking a toll on everyone’s wallets but don’t rule out stem cell treatment because you think the price tag is too high. Stem cell therapy is making revolutionary progress in treating orthopedic conditions so let’s consider the price of stem cell treatment for joint pain compared to more traditional treatments. First, joint pain and other degenerative orthopedic conditions are debilitating and can rob you of the ability to work and function, so we have to factor in lost wages and invaluable time spent doing the things you love. In addition to what you pay for your condition in time, pain medications you use to manage on a daily basis can run you about $2000 a year. But, it doesn’t stop there. The total for medical treatment, specialist visits, and other prescriptions clocks in at about 50-75k each year. Even if you have health insurance, these are pretty hefty expenses to bear while you suffer in unending pain. Joint replacement surgery has become the go-to fix for chronic joint pain, and the cost for the procedure starts at about 50k. When you look at your bottom line cost, NOT opting for stem cell therapy is a highly expensive decision.
Stem cell therapy can run you about 5k for each treated joint, and because the recovery time post procedure is very short, you won’t end up paying in hidden expenses from missed work. These regenerative therapies are designed to get you feeling pain-free faster and work to return you to your normal life and activities without dependency on medications and surgery.
The best way to get factual and specific information about the stem cell therapy options available for you is to make an appointment and speak to a doctor today.