How Much Do Stem Cell Therapies Cost?
In patients who have exhausted all conservative treatment options and are trying to delay a shoulder replacement, Dr. Verma may recommend a stem cell injection to promote healing and symptom reduction of the injured soft tissue or bone. Stem cell injections with Dr. Verma are $3,000. Since stem cell therapy is still considered experimental, insurance does not cover the procedure. All procedures require cash payment.
Adult Stem Cells as an Alternative to Shoulder Replacement
Autologous stem cells, also referred to as adult stem cells, have a natural ability to differentiate into multiple tissue types. In addition, they may provide valuable biologic factors to modulate the inflammatory process. Stem cell therapy for the shoulder offers a possible alternative to cortisone injections or shoulder replacement in young, active patients suffering from osteoarthritis. With this stem cell therapy technique, patients do not experience the ethical concerns associated with embryonic or fetal stem cells since adult stem cells are harvested directly from the patient’s own body or from discarded placental tissue.
Stem cell therapy for the shoulder as a management option for shoulder arthritis is a fairly simple procedure. It requires a sample of bone marrow to be harvested from the patient’s own body, commonly from the hip area. After the bone marrow is harvested, the sample is spun in a special machine called a centrifuge to separate a combination of adult stem cells, platelets and white blood cells. The combination of healing agents is then injected into the damaged shoulder joint to regenerate articular cartilage and accelerate healing. Alternatively, allograft (donor) type products with stem cells harvested from placental tissue are available for office based injections.
It should be noted that these injections are considered experimental at this time. While studies are ongoing to determine the efficacy of these types of injections, further study is needed to determine appropriate patient indications and expected outcomes.
If you would like additional resources on stem cell therapy for the shoulder as an alternative to shoulder replacement surgery, please contact the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois orthopedic office of shoulder specialist Dr. Nikhil Verma.