Legitimate stem cell clinic - patients

Choosing a Legitimate Stem Cell Clinic – 5 Things to Know

Scott Brandt, M.D. Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells for Back Pain, Stem Cells for Joint & Soft Tissue Pain

The term “stem cell procedure” has become a catchphrase for the use of just about any type of biologic injection, regardless of whether the injection contains live stem cells or not. There is now a constant stream of advertising for stem cell treatments for nearly every medical problem imaginable. Often these advertisements promote the use of biologics to treat many systemic medical problems such as MS, Parkinson’s disease, and COPD despite little evidence to support their use.

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#1: Common Problems with Stem Cell Clinics and Stem Cell Injections

The treatment of orthopedic injuries is one of the few medical applications where stem cell injections have demonstrated appreciable improvement in evidence-based studies. Good outcomes are much more likely as long as an accurate image-guided cell procedure is carried out utilizing an autologous cellular source (patient’s own cells). Over the past five years, unspecialized centers advertising stem cell treatments have popped up all over the country.

Many of these clinics are not owned or operated by a physician, and quite often the procedures are not performed by physicians. Many of these clinics are owned by chiropractors and the injections are performed by injectionists who often are untrained in joint or spine treatments, usually nursing staff. The majority of these injections are carried out without image guidance, and therefore, cannot ensure proper placement of the cells.

#2: Best Stem Cell Sources with Potential for Cartilage & Soft Tissue Regeneration

The majority of these clinics utilize biologic products that fall into two classes of birth material: cord blood and amniotic tissue. Neither of these biologics, in their injectable form, contain live adult stem cells. When these injectables have been tested in the lab by growing the injection material out in-culture, no appreciable stem colonies have been demonstrated. Although these materials may contain growth factors that can be beneficial to stem cell growth, they contain virtually no live stem cells.

There are two cellular products that contain significant enough cell counts to have the potential to regenerate damaged cartilage or soft tissue. These are bone marrow concentrate and adipose (fat) derived stem cells. Both contain live adult stem cells. The cell counts in bone marrow fall dramatically as a patient ages; and after the age of 40 cell counts may not be adequate to provide an appreciative regenerative effect when used alone.

This is not the case with adipose-derived cells, where cell counts remain significant throughout a patient’s life. There are 500-2000 times more cells in a good fat harvest than are found in bone marrow concentrate. The use of adipose derived cells offers a much greater regenerative potential than bone marrow concentrate. The two autologous cell sources can be used in combination to maximize healing potential.

#3: Patient Success Stories and Clear Expectations

Legitimate stem cell clinics will have patients who can speak to the effectiveness of the procedures. Watch out for strong claims from clinics promising a cure-all for every disease state. Many trusted patient reviews are available on public online platforms, as you can see displayed in our collections of stem cell reviews for joints & soft tissue, or reviews for back pain treatments.

To get a full picture of what a patient’s experience with the clinic may be like, read into detailed stem cell patient case studies. Remember that success is subjective and the treatment should start with a thorough evaluation of your imaging and symptoms. An experienced stem cell physician will make sure that the patient is not misinformed by popular stem cell myths, and that the patient’s expectations are in line with the benefits the procedure may provide in their specific case.

choosing a stem cell clinic

Dr. Scott Brandt explains how you can get the most out of your stem cell treatment.

Individual patient results may vary. Please contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

#4: Maximizing Your Return on the Cost of Stem Cell Therapy

It is imperative to not simply compare the price of a stem cell procedure when making the decision on the appropriate regenerative stem cell treatment. Be selective when looking at ortho-biologic options. Make sure that you are receiving a cell procedure with a high volume of live autologous stem cells.

In addition, make sure the injection is being performed by a trained injection specialist and that they are using image guidance, to be certain the cells are placed at the specific targeted location. If you are going to spend the money to undergo a regenerative procedure, give yourself the best chance of achieving the desired result.

#5: Questions to Ask to Find a Stem Cell Clinic You Can Trust

Stem cell therapy has been making significant advances in orthopedic treatments of joints, soft tissue and spine pain. To find the best clinic, we recommend you seek out:

  • A stem cell clinic owned and operated by an experienced stem cell physician
  • That the stem cell injections are performed by a trained injection specialist
  • X-ray guided stem cell injections are used in the treatment of spine and joint pain
  • Stem cells are sourced from a combination of both fat and bone marrow, harvested from your own body
  • Detailed case studies about the clinic’s own patients
  • Patient reviews

Next Step

If you believe you or someone you care about could be a candidate for stem cell therapy administered by a trusted clinic, please contact us today.

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Linda Gerrans
Linda Gerrans
19:37 14 Dec 17
When I was told by an orthopedic doctor I needed double knee replacement I chose stem cell therapy instead. Stem cell therapy has helped me get through my days without the pain I was experiencing and enjoy the activities I was unable to because of the pain.
John Beeman
John Beeman
23:05 08 Jan 17
I just wanted to give an update regarding the stem cell procedure performed by Dr. Brandt at Thrive about 3 years ago. My range of motion continues to improve--remarkable at 64.I skied 150k in 5 days last week and never iced my knee once. I can't remember skiing that many feet w/out having to ice in the last 20 years. The knee treated has been without an acl since I was 18 and is pretty severely arthritic,but I am getting better performance now than I have in recent memory. Thank you, Dr. Brandt!!
Lisa Harris
Lisa Harris
15:59 02 Jan 17
After struggling with an Achilles injury for 1 1/2 years and trying everything to heal it - steroid, physical therapy, wearing a boot, no activity, stretching, etc - I decided to have stem cell therapy at Thrive.md. It was a short procedure and an afternoon of post op recovery, which after 6-8 weeks, resulted in a full recovery from my injury. This seemed to finally stimulate blood flow and healing to an injury I had resigned myself to having forever. I highly recommend this procedure for tendon injuries like this one.
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
03:55 14 Nov 16
I am a pain management physician myself. I am 52, and physically very active. I still play soccer competitively. Six months ago I suffered a hip injury with a labrum tear. Due to the pre-existing wear and tear, the only conventional treatment, which was offered to me was total hip replacement. I wanted to remain physically active and continue to play sports, so I decided that this is not the best option for me. I choose instead to try stem-cell therapy. Ten days ago I had my procedure done by Dr. Brandt, and since then I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his practice. Everyone in his office was extremely welcoming and put me at ease and comfort about my procedure. The procedure went very smooth. And I did not have ANY post procedure pain or discomfort. I had no need for any pain medication. I was back to work seeing patients on the 2nd day after the procedure. My hip already feels noticeably better. I have the second procedure scheduled in four weeks, and I am confident that in another 3-4 weeks I'll be back playing soccer again. Thank you, Dr. Brandt and team for taking such excellent care of me.
John Reilly
John Reilly
13:44 04 Nov 16
I saw Dr Brandt on 8/8/16 for a lower back stem cell injection. From the injection, I got a serious infection in my lower spine. As a result, I spent 2 days in the Vail hospital and have been on daily IV antibiotics for the past 8 weeks. A few weeks after the injection, I started feeling increased pain which was a different pain than before my injection. It was much sharper and a shooting pain. I communicated this information to Dr Brandt and his staff. There only response and treatment was stronger pain meds. oral and injected steroids (the worst thing to do when an infection is present). The pain became so intense and debilitating, I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Their team quickly discovered from listening to my symptoms and reviewing a new MRI that I had an infection. I also discovered from a search on DORA that over the past 13 years Dr Brandt's has a history of incidents with the DORA which regulates medical professionals. Over this time, his license was suspended for a period of time and is he currently practicing on probation through 2019. At one point, the AG said he was unfit to practice medicine.
Laurel Wilkerson
Laurel Wilkerson
21:22 08 Aug 16
Great job by the Thrive MD team in Edwards. With a torn achilles tendon, I was really opposed to surgery. When I discovered Dr. Brandt and team, I was thrilled. They are most professional and explained every step of the process and procedure for treatment options. I am on the road to recovery, and I am so thankful to have discovered Thrive. Before you let an orthopedic doc operate, take the time to explore and discuss stem cell therapy. Thrive MD made the process easy and convenient. Thanks! One year later update - ankle is doing great. Skied 52 days in 2015-16. Hiking, biking and all are no problem. Great team of caring people who know their business.
Brad Jones
Brad Jones
00:27 19 Feb 16
Dr. Brandt and his entire staff are amazing! Early in the ski season I had a partial tear in my ACL and thought I would be out until the next year for sure. However after consulting with Thrive MD they informed me that I was a good candidate for stem cell therapy. I went through the procedure and went from barely being able to walk with crutches to walking comfortably and normally within three weeks! I was back at work quickly and just got back on the mountain recently. My knee feels very solid and I have ZERO issues with it. Thank you Thrive MD for saving my ski season!
Karen Taylor
Karen Taylor
02:10 09 Dec 15
I am so happy to have found Thrive this past summer. After being told by 3 Dr's that I need a knee replacement I was feeling very discouraged. 2 1/2 years ago I had a very bad skiing accident and destroyed my tibial plateau. After surgery and physical therapy I was no where near where I wanted to be functioning physically. I couldn't hike, ski, or basically do anything active without constant pain. I went to Thrive and got my hormones balanced, got my energy level back up to where I like it to be and had several stem cell treatments on my knee. It was not an instant fix, but over the past 6 months it has continually started to feel better. I just skied 3 hard days in a row in Beaver Creek, with no swelling and very little pain! I am back to functioning at about 80% of my capacity. I'm thrilled with the progress and hope to continue to improve as I continue to be active this winter. I am so happy not to have a knee replacement and to be able to keep my own knee. Thank you Dr. Brandt.
Sylvia Baldwin
Sylvia Baldwin
00:00 26 Apr 15
Dr. Brandt is the best! I've been seeing him altogether for around 15 years now for corticosteroid injections for pain and would never want to see anyone else. He is very skilled with the needle and getting the injections done in exactly the right places. In addition, I've found Dr. Brandt to be a very concerned and caring individual; he's a great listener who clearly gives a lot of thought to what the best approach is going to be in dealing with the situation the patient describes. I've found that he always takes as much time as necessary to assess the situation; dealing with Dr. Brandt is such an entirely different experience than virtually every other meeting I've had with various surgeons and other M.D.'s. His staff is also very friendly, helpful and kind--as I said, he's the best...and well worth the drive to Edwards!
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