For those interested in getting involved in an exercise routine, it is hard not to come across the world of CrossFit. Over the past couple years, there has been a significant increase in this fitness regime that combines resistance and aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, CrossFit often gets a bad rap due to its perceived propensity to cause injury. Shoulder injuries are particularly common due to the athletes performing snatches and other complex overhead movements. Typically, when one sustains shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, the first visit is to a surgeon. Research has shown that surgery may not be the answer. Fortunately, StemCell ARTS offers patients suffering from shoulder injuries an alternative to treating their shoulder conditions, while avoiding invasive surgical procedures.
Why is this so important to CrossFit athletes? Or anyone, for that matter?
Avoiding surgery also allows the patient to avoid the downtime and recovery that is typically associated with shoulder surgery. Patients are able to get back to the activities that they love, sooner than the patients who undergo surgical procedures. For CrossFit athletes, this means getting back in the gym faster and the ability to keep improving on their fitness. For patients outside of CrossFit, they are able to continue their day to day activity, without much interruption following a regenerative procedure.
Below, you will find a link to an article that features a CrossFit athlete treated by one of the physicians at StemCell ARTS. Bill, a high-level CrossFit athlete was able to avoid surgery to repair his rotator cuff by electing to proceed with the stem cell procedure offered at StemCell ARTS. Click the link below to read more about how Bill is doing following his stem cell procedure and learn more about why shoulder surgery may not be the way to go.
Experiencing a “pop” or “clicking” in the hip joint is often something that cannot be ignored. Pain radiating from the hip down the front of the thigh or groin area could be a result of a tear within the hip labrum. The labrum is a small layer of cartilage between the ball and socket of the hip joint that provides cushion and assists in the motion of the hip. An injury common among athletes, extreme compression or quick twisting / wrenching of the hip can cause areas of this cartilage to tear, resulting in severe and intense pain. In the past, invasive surgery was the only option for helping resolve this condition. However, since the hip is a poorly vasculized area, and often does not heal well on its own, surgery can result in less than desirable results.
Recent studies have found that regenerative treatments can be used to heal a labral tear without the risks and recovery time typically associated with surgeries to treat the same condition. New biological treatments, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cells, activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to help repair the injured and damaged tissues. PRP is a blood derivative procedure that releases growth factors to the injured area, stimulating tissue repair. Stem Cell therapy contains a sample of concentrated stem cells that have been harvested from the hip and isolated in the on-site laboratory. When injected into the hip, these regenerative therapies adhere to damaged tissues and attract growth factors to begin the repair process. StemCell ARTS, an affiliate of National Spine and Pain Centers, offers a variety of conventional and regenerative therapies to treat labral tears and assist in the restoration of patients’ mobility, while avoiding invasive surgery.
Regenerative therapies are gaining more and more popularity within multiple modalities of the health care field. Orthopedic practices, in particular, are seeing an increase in patients due to professional athletes sharing their experiences with stem cells and platelets for treatment of sports injuries and orthopedic conditions. With orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine professionals, etc. offering regenerative therapies, how does a patient determine which practice is best?
At StemCell ARTS, we use the Regenexx method of processing to produce, what we believe, is the most concentrated and pure version of stem cell and platelets to inject at the patients’ site of injury. What does the Regenexx method of processing mean? Most practices utilizing regenerative therapy as a form of treatment use machines called “bedside centrifuges” to process the regenerative samples. These samples can be full of red and white blood cells and only produce a concentration of 5-7x the concentration found in the human body. By processing the samples by hand, StemCell ARTS is able to produce a pure sample, free of red and white blood cells. We can also increase the concentration to much higher levels.
Not only is Regenexx and StemCell ARTS ahead of the game when it comes to the processing of regenerative therapies, but are also responsible for over 33% of all published articles regarding regenerative therapies. Regenexx is a research consortium that combines the knowledge and experience of over 30 physicians across the country. Regenexx researchers compile this information to consistently examine and improve the method of processing and injection of regenerative therapies.
The video below includes commentary from Dr. Chris Centeno, founder of Regenexx, and describes how the idea of utilizing regenerative therapies for interventional orthopedics came to fruition. By understanding the story behind Regenexx, we hope that patients will see what sets Regenexx-affiliated clinics, like StemCell ARTS, apart from the rest!
A condition commonly known as “Tennis Elbow”, lateral epicondylitis develops as a result of overuse of the muscles in the forearm. Simple daily activities such as repeated lifting, twisting or gripping can cause inflammation of the tendons and occasionally result in a series of small tears, generating significant pain.
The elbow joint is comprised of three bones joining the upper arm with the lower forearm. This joint is supported by surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. As the inflammation increases, the pain can become severe and limit daily activities. Traditionally, to combat the pain, patients turn to over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections. While these measures may temporarily reduce the pain, they can also slow down the healing process. As the body’s ability to heal the area becomes inhibited, the inflammation can no longer be reduced, resulting in chronic elbow pain.
New regenerative treatments use a patient’s biological material to heal lateral epicondylitis. A recent study has found that patients suffering from elbow pain reported a significantly larger improvement in pain following a PRP injection, as opposed to a cortisone injection. Following the Regenexx PRP protocol, whole blood is drawn from the patient and isolated in the onsite lab; removing all of the contaminating red and white cells. From there, the platelets are concentrated and injected into the joint where the growth factors attract repair cells to the site of injury and start the healing process. Usually, within 2-3 sessions, patients experience an improvement in pain and function. Patients are able to return to normal activity without undergoing invasive surgery.
…StemCell ARTS has created a Facebook Patient Discussion Forum?
Our goal is to create an open discussion forum for patients who are interested in, or have had, the regenerative procedures performed at StemCell ARTS. Comments will be available to the public. This patient forum will allow patients who have completed consultations with one of our StemCell ARTS physicians to speak with other current patients to help them decide if our regenerative procedures are right for them. In addition, the forum will facilitate an open discussion between patients who have had, or are undergoing, regenerative procedures at StemCell ARTS. They can share their experiences to help eachother through the treatment and recovery process.
The discussion topics and reference materials contained are intended for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for diagnoses or treatment, but rather for discussion with others who have similar questions and concerns regarding our procedures. The information provided is not intended to diagnose health problems, or take the place of professional medical care. The answers in this discussion forum should, in no way, be considered specific medical advice. DO NOT stop or modify your treatment plan without consulting with your physician.
Cervical spine (neck) pain is a common condition, suffered by many people. Whether it’s spinal stenosis, a disc herniation, or simply overexertion, the pain can become debilitating and lead to long term suffering. The cervical spine is a vulnerable structure that is comprised of joints and ligaments, working together to support the head. Its susceptibility to injury can result in a number of conditions causing spasm, headaches, or shooting pains. Finding the source of the pain is the first step, since damage in one area can affect many supporting systems. In the majority of cases, cortisone injections can help in the management of neck pain. In other patients, surgical intervention may be recommended. However, there are those who suffer from severe or chronic pain who have exhausted conservative treatment measures, or still have pain post surgery, and are left searching for an alternative solution.
Newly developed biological treatments have provided an opportunity for chronic pain sufferers to experience a long-lasting, natural solution to their neck pain. Regenerative treatments, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Platelet Lysate, contain highly concentrated growth factors from a patient’s own blood to attract repair cells and initiate the body’s healing process. In some cases, Prolotherapy, a concentrated solution of Dextrose and anesthetic can be used in conjunction with the platelet procedures, or on its own. Prolotherapy helps stimulate the body’s natural ability to strengthen ligaments and tendon surrounding the cervical spine. The regenerative treatments offered by the physicians at StemCell ARTS can offer relief to patients looking for a solution to their chronic neck pain.
…that insurances will cover the initial consultation visit to discuss regnerative therapies?
The phrase “not covered by insurance” can be a scary thought when considering alternatives to surgery. Still considered “new” to the world of medicine, regenerative treatments are a non-covered service through insurance, leaving the cost to be the patient’s responsibility.
Although this may be a disheartening thought, the initial consultation can still qualify under a patient’s insurance. Scheduling a consultation with a StemCell ARTS physician allows for the chance to receive a full examination and diagnosis, while only being responsible for the copay, current deductible and/or co-insurance. Patients are able to leave the office with a full treatment plan and a breakdown of any potential cost and time commitments.
StemCell ARTS participates with most all insurances, and requires a referral based on specific insurances qualifications.
Currently insurances are not recognizing regenerative treatments as a covered service. Although multiple studies have been conducted, and data has been collected, the procedures are still considered “new” and “experimental.” As a result, this leaves patients with a choice; do they opt for a more invasive and sometimes problematic surgery, which is covered under insurance, or do they choose conservative regenerative treatments that are out of pocket? Although they both can be extremely successful, surgery vs. regenerative treatments always raises the question, “is the reward worth the risk?”
For many patients, surgery seems like the best option for pain relief. All of the office visits are covered, along with the surgery and post-surgery rehab. Patients are left to worry about little, other than their recovery. It may seem like insurance has everything covered, but patients still have their copays, high deductibles and coinsurances to worry about. Even though it seems like insurance carries the majority of the cost, most patients find themselves paying a large portion of this “covered” procedure out of their own pockets.
Recognized as a non-covered service, regenerative treatments offer patients the risk of out of pocket expenses, but the reward of non-invasive natural treatments that require little to no down time. New biological treatments offered at StemCell ARTS use the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat various musculoskeletal conditions without the need for surgery. As a newer treatment in medicine, these procedures, though well supported with data, are currently not covered under any private insurance company.
Although the full cost is the patient’s responsibility, the Regenexx Protocol used at StemCell ARTS is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for.” With our in-office state of the art lab, we are able to offer patients the most advanced regenerative therapies for musculoskeletal conditions. Our technicians are able to isolate and concentrate each blood and stem cell sample to obtain the purest and strongest product, giving patients the maximum benefit with the minimal amount of treatments.
Before making any decisions or commitments, patients can schedule an initial consultation with one of the physicians at StemCell ARTS to have a comprehensive evaluation. StemCell ARTS participates with the majority of major insurance companies and the initial consultation visit, along with any follow ups, are submitted through the patient’s insurance. The patient will be responsible for their co-payment and deductible while in the office, and the remaining bill will be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
The pricing for each procedure is based on the area being treated and the procedure being performed. As a general range, the procedures can run between $1,000 – $7,500. Following the consultation with the doctor and a treatment plan has been established, patients will receive more information regarding an exact price.
If you have been recommended to have an invasive surgery and are interested in exploring other options, call our office at 703-738-4381 to schedule an appointment with one the StemCell ARTS physicians.