Regenexx is a stem cell procedure offered by a company called Regenerative Sciences. The procedure is mired in controversy with the FDA – which claims that someone’s own stem cells should be classified as a “drug”.
Meanwhile, over 16,000 people are enjoying healthier, pain-free lives because of the joint pain relief offered by Regenexx.
Why is Regenexx so controversial? Does it really work as advertised? Find out everything you need to know about the controversial procedure today in our Regenexx review.
What is Regenexx?
Regenexx is a non-surgical treatment offered by physicians across the country. It’s seen as an alternative to back surgery and spinal surgery – among other joint procedures.
Regenexx was developed in 2005 by Regenerative Sciences, a Colorado-based company.
The procedure promises to repair damaged joints by taking stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow. Since 2007, over 16,000 patients across the United States have undergone the procedure.
Physicians across the country now offer Regenexx treatment – despite the huge amount of controversy with the FDA. The number of clinics offering the treatment is relatively small (fewer than 30), but appears to be growing every year.
The American Food and Drug Administration argues that someone’s own stem cells should be considered a “drug”. During Regenexx treatment, doctors extract blood from the patient and spin that blood in a centrifuge to separate stem cells. Then, the stem cells are re-injected directly to the injured area.
Regenerative Sciences claims this procedure doesn’t create a drug. The FDA, however, wants to regulate human stem cells by classifying them as a drug.
How Does Regenexx Work?
As mentioned above, Regenexx is fairly straightforward. Bone marrow is extracted from the patient, then placed in a centrifuge. This separates valuable stem cells from the bone marrow.
Then, the doctor re-injects the stem cells into the patient – this time in the targeted area, like the back, knee, or other joints.
The stem cells kickstart the body’s natural healing processes, building new cells in the area. This can repair damaged joints and cure pain almost instantly.
Downtime after a procedure typically lasts 3-5 days, although some have reported being able to move around normally “immediately” after a procedure.
Benefits of Regenexx Stem Cell Procedure
According to the official Regenexx website, Regenexx.com, the procedure can be used to provide a wide range of health benefits. Most of these health benefits are related to joint pain throughout the body. Popular conditions include:
— Rotator Cuff Tears
— MCL, ACL, PCL, and LCL Sprains or Tears
— Ankle Instability
— Carpal (Wrist) And Tarsal (Ankle) Tunnel Syndrome
— Herniated Discs
— Neck, Back, And Spine Pain
Basically, Regenexx is being advertised as an alternative medical treatment to back and joint surgery. It’s been used by athletes, the elderly, and healthy adults to restore mobility and reduce pain.
Regenexx Versus Traditional Joint & Back Treatments
Regenexx also advertises its benefits in relation to back surgery. Compared to traditional surgery methods, Regenexx claims to offer the following benefits:
-No lengthy or painful recovery period. Regenexx claims patients can immediately return to activity “as tolerated”.
— Traditional back surgery can cut through important muscles, which is why back surgeries have a high rate of complications (3% to 5%). Regenexx is performed via injection, so no muscles are permanently harmed during the operation and “the opportunity for complications is greatly decreased.”
— Regenexx claims to heal your blood and encourage new blood vessels to grow throughout the body. Regenexx claims to believe that “poor blood supply is at the heart of why many patients with chronically pinched low back nerves fail to heal.” The platelets inserted during Regenexx treatment contain growth factors that can repair and create blood vessels.
— Regenexx also compares itself to “high dose steroid epidural injections” that come with significant side-effects. Unlike these procedures, Regenexx claims to use “1,000,000 times less” anti-inflammatory than traditional lumbar epidural steroid injections.
How to Undergo Regenexx Procedures
The official Regenexx website lists a number of Regenexx treatment centers across the United States. If you want to undergo Regenexx, you’ll first need to check this map: http://www.regenexx.com/find-a-physician/
There are dozens of treatment centers across the United States, and most states have at least one Regenexx provider. Regenexx also claims that this number is growing every day.
At many of these clinics, Regenexx is classified under “regenerative medicine.”
How Much Does Regenexx Cost?
Most Regenexx expenses will need to be paid out-of-pocket. It’s rare to find an insurance agency that covers stem cell treatment.
Specific pricing information can be difficult to find online. One individual underwent a Regenexx SD procedure on his right knee and paid a total of $5,600 for treatment.
He compared the costs to traditional knee surgery, which would have cost $7,000 along with an additional $8,000 to $10,000 for “hospital costs.” That patient also claims to have experienced 3-5 days of downtime – compared to 4-6 weeks of downtime with surgery.
Obviously, the price doesn’t tell the full story: many health insurance providers will cover some or all of the cost of knee surgery, but no insurance providers currently cover any of the costs of Regenexx treatment (aside from some office visits, consultations, and tests).
Here’s what one Regenexx clinic had to say about insurance coverage:
“Insurance only covers office visits, consultations, diagnostic testing, examinations and bracing. Regenexx stem cell and blood platelet procedures are not covered by any insurance carriers including Medicare.”
Scientific Evidence for Regenexx
Regenexx has been studied extensively over the past decade. In fact, Regenexx-related studies account for 30% of all published research on orthopedic stem cell benefits.
Most of these studies have been in favor of using Regenexx as a joint repair solution. Instead of individually discussing every single study performed thus far, your best option is to check the Regenexx website, which has collected an extensive list of independent studies performed to-date: http://www.regenexx.com/common-questions/
Who Should Try Regenexx?
Regenexx, like all stem cell procedures, is highly controversial. This controversy is caused by two groups:
— Religious People, Many Of Whom Don’t Want Scientists “Messing Around” With Stem Cells
— The FDA, Which Is Unsure How To Regulate Stem Cells
Many people have called Regenexx and other regenerative therapies the medical treatment methods of the future. Unfortunately, these futuristic treatments are often held back by red tape and litigation.
In spite of these hurdles, Regenexx claims that 16,000 people have undergone the procedure thus far. Furthermore, approximately 30% of the published research on orthopedic stem cell literature is based on Regenexx – which means it’s an industry leader in terms of joint repairing stem cell therapy.
For all of these reasons, Regenexx may be the right choice for you. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the unique pros, cons, and benefits of Regenexx and other regenerative therapies.