Regenerative medicine is an emerging field of medicine that focuses on harnessing your body’s cells to heal damaged tissues, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. The purpose of regenerative medicine is not only to HEAL these areas but to alleviate the PAIN associated with these areas. Our goal is to restore the level of fitness the person enjoyed before the injury. The treatments are minimally invasive without the pain and lengthy recovery typically associated with surgery. Regenerative medicine treatments offer a solution and renewed hope for those who believed they would require surgery.
What to expect in the procedure
How painful is the procedure for implanting PRP or Stem Cells
The procedure is about as painful as a typical shot at a doctor’s office. Our providers numb the skin at the injection point with a local anesthetic. The cells immediately activate an inflammatory healing response after injection. Patients often report feeling pressure and usually only mild discomfort from the procedure.
How do you know where to inject my cells?
We use a real-time dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound to identify the precise location we are looking for. Your previous MRI and X-Ray images, as well as the physical examination by your provider, tells the provider where to accurately inject the cells.
How long will the procedure take?
Do I need someone to drive me to my appointment?
All of our patients walk out of the clinic. However, having someone drive you for a medical procedure is never a bad idea. A local nerve block may be used, on occasion, which could impair your ability to drive safely. You can consult with your provider and nurse team before your procedure to see if a ride will be necessary.
How much blood is drawn during the PRP procedure?
Regardless of where the injury is located, a vein in your arm is used for the blood draw. Depending on the type of procedure and your body weight, the amount drawn can vary. On average, we draw 180 mL – 240 mL of blood. For comparison, a blood donation is a UNIT of blood, which equals 500 mL. The blood we draw is used to extract the platelets and growth factors.
When can I expect to feel better?
Around three weeks after their procedure many patients report feeling an improvement. It is possible to feel improvement within the first week and it is also possible that it may take 4-6 weeks to notice positive changes. Depending on the individual and the area of treatment, time can vary.
Will I need a second procedure?
For PRP: Most patients will require a second or even third procedure. Our usual protocol involves 1-3 injection cycles. Overall degeneration of the joint/area being treated, a patient’s age and activity level, the severity of the injury, and length of time a patient has had the injury can all impact if another procedure is needed.
For Stem Cells: Most patients only require one injection.
When can I return to normal activity?
This also depends on the type of procedure and area of injury. Early activity is promoted in our PRP and Stem Cell procedures. As a general guide, if there is minimal cartilage loss or a partial tendon/ligament/muscle tear, low-impact activities would be encouraged immediately after the procedure. High-impact activities would be expected at 4-6 weeks after injection.
When should I follow up with my provider?
Follow ups usually occur 4 weeks after the initial procedure. At that appointment, you can discuss your progress up to that point and have a conversation about the next steps and possible further treatments.
Is Physical Therapy necessary?
The short answer is YES. We highly recommend you visit a physical therapist around 7 days after your procedure date. This is the professional keeping tabs on your recovery. They are making sure you are performing the correct exercises during the crucial early weeks of your healing and recovery. Additionally, we will recommend other types of conservative care to restore normal biomechanics. These might include physical therapy, chiropractic care, different types of myofascial release, bracing, and/or specific home exercises. In short, PRP helps to stimulate growth and healing of tissues, your exercise (therapy) is critical to ensuring you heal in a way that promotes strength and proper function of the injured joint.
How much do PRP and stem cell procedures cost?
Pricing of procedures can vary considerably from patient to patient because each treatment situation is unique. An evaluation will give you a better idea of condition, treatment, and costs specific to your condition.
PRP procedures are typically around $600-$1200 per treatment and Stem Cell procedures are typically around $3000-$4000 per treatment. Until you are seen in the clinic for an evaluation, we will not know what the recommended treatment route will be. Alternatively, if you are not able to travel to the clinic, you may provide us with a recent MRI (less than 1 year old) of the area/joint you are seeking treatment on. You are always welcome to speak with one of our nurse regenerative specialists to discuss your case and ask more questions (320-251-2600).
Are PRP and Stem Cell procedures covered under insurance?
PRP and Stem Cell injections have no insurance coverage at this time.
Some health insurance plans may cover the initial evaluation, follow up appointments, physical therapy appointments and bracing (if recommended). If your plan does, and if Williams Integracare Clinic is IN-NETWORK with your insurance carrier, we will bill the carrier. If not, there will be a consultation fee for the initial face-to-face consult.
We recommend that you contact your insurance carrier for more information about your specific coverage details.