Stem Cells for Osteoarthritis: What You Need to Know

Growing numbers of doctors are taking a good, hard look at the potential of stem cell treatments to improve osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees. At Apex Biologix in Salt Lake City, Utah, they have already trained hundreds of doctors and assisted clinics in introducing stem cell therapies to patients. This should tell you just how much stem cell therapy is catching on.

If you are experiencing the chronic pain and loss of function common to osteoarthritis, stem cell treatment is something to consider. Note that it is not right for everyone. If it is right for you, an effective stem cell regimen could literally change your life. It could potentially slow down the progression of your disease, enabling you to permanently avoid surgery.

Apex Biologix advises all interested patients to do their homework before electing to undergo stem cell therapy. To get you started, the five most important things you need to know are explained below. Use them as a springboard for your own research.

1. Your Insurance Will Not Cover It

As of the time of this writing, there appear to be no insurance companies willing to cover stem cell therapy as an osteoarthritis treatment. That means you will be paying for it out of pocket. Depending on your doctor and the number of injections required, the total bill could run a few thousand dollars. You will have to weigh the expense against the relief stem cell therapy could potentially provide.

2. Your Doctor Should Be Trained

There are right and wrong ways to utilize every medical therapy. This includes stem cell therapy. Before you agree to undergo treatment from your doctor, verify that he or she has been appropriately trained by a reputable training provider. Ask to see documentation of the completed training. Do not just take your doctor’s word for it and hope for the best.

3. Some Stem Cells Are Better Than Others

First and foremost, your doctor should be using autologous stem cells if he or she intends to treat you without breaking the law. Autologous stem cells are stem cells that you provide through your own fat tissue or bone marrow. For the purposes of treating osteoarthritis, cells from bone marrow have shown to be more effective than those taken from fat tissue. Make sure your doctor is planning to use autologous stem cells extracted from bone marrow.

4. Injection Sites Are Critical

One of the things an Apex-trained doctor knows is that injection sites are critical. The doctor cannot simply inject the stem cells anywhere and expect good results. Ask your doctor what equipment he/she will be using to make sure he/she’s injecting the right location for your treatment.

5. You May Need More Than One Injection

Finally, the efficacy of stem cell therapy depends a lot on patient response. Your doctor should be able to give you an estimate of how many injections you will need based on the severity of your condition. But be prepared that his/her estimate could be wrong on either side. You may end up needing more injections than originally assumed. You could be one of the lucky ones who needs fewer injections. There is no way to know until your body starts responding.

These five points should help you get started in researching stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis. Should you choose to consult a doctor about treatment, do not hesitate to be your own health advocate. You may decide stem cell therapy is right for you; you may decide to walk away. You do what is best for you regardless of whether your doctor agrees with you.

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