Frequently Asked Regenexx Questions

  • What types of injuries can be treated?
    • The types of injuries most commonly treated by Regenexx procedures include fractures that have failed to heal, joint cartilage problems, chronic bursitis, avascular necrosis of the bone, lumbar disc bulges, and partial tears of tendons, muscles, or ligaments.
  • Does Regenexx use embryonic stems?
    • No. All Regenexx procedures use your own stem cells (autologous) drawn from bone marrow in your iliac crest (hip). Research has shown that your own stem cells derived from bone marrow (mesenchymal) are the most effective in healing orthopedic injuries.
  • How do the Regenexx procedures compare with traditional orthopedic surgery risks? 
    • Regenexx procedures are much less risky than typical surgical procedures because Regenexx procedures are minimally invasive and do not require general anesthesia. Surgical procedures carry a serious risk of complications or even death.
  • Do Regennex procedures differ from the other stem cell procedures currently being offered for orthopedic conditions? 
    • The Regenexx procedures are unique. They use many proprietary, innovative techniques to maximize stem cell count and to ensure delivery and growth of those cells. See the Regenexx Difference for more information.
  • Have the Regenexx procedures performed in the United States been approved by the FDA?
    •  All of the Regenexx stem cell and blood platelet procedures performed in the United States today are FDA compliant. These same-day procedures comply with CFR 21 Part 1271, falling under the same surgery exemption discussed in 1271.15 (b).
    • There is some common confusion about FDA approval of Regenexx as a result of reports about our case against the FDA for the last few years. That case relates only to the Regenexx C procedure, which is different from any Regenexx procedures now being performed in the United States.
  • Am I a candidate for Regenexx procedures? 
    • Dr. Vlach will look at your medical records and imagery and will speak with you about whether Regenexx procedures may help your problem.
  • How can I arrange for a review of my imaging? 
    • We prefer CDs rather than hard copies of actual films, but we can work with either. Most imaging centers can easily and inexpensively burn a CD with the digital copies of your films. You can request these records from your previous providers, or you can authorize us to request your records on your behalf. Records should be sent to Eastern Idaho Spine, Sports & Rehab Center. When you complete a candidate form, you will receive complete instructions regarding the review process.
  • Why do you need to draw blood for a stem cell procedure?
    • The growth factors that we use to grow your stem cells in the injection site are contained in your blood platelets. We need to draw blood in order to isolate and concentrate platelets for re-injection into the site of the stem cell transplant.
  • How much blood do you draw? 
    • A total of 50-200 cc may be drawn (a few teaspoons less than half a pint). A smaller amount of blood may be drawn if you weigh less than 110 pounds.
  • Is a bone-marrow aspirate painful?
    • Patients often confuse a bone marrow aspirate with a more involved and more painful bone marrow biopsy. We only perform the less complicated and much more comfortable bone marrow aspirate. Because we extensively numb the area, about eight in 10 patients say that the marrow draw is very comfortable and would do it again.
  • Is the stem cell implantation procedure painful? 
    • The procedure uses ultrasound-guided injection and so is about as painful as a typical shot at a doctor’s office.
  • When can I expect to feel better?
    • The results should become apparent over one to three months, but your body continues to heal for as long as six to nine months following the injection.
  • Will I need a second procedure?
    • Some patients will benefit from a second or even a third procedure. Our usual protocol involves one to three injection cycles. Most patients receive a single procedure.
  • When can I return to normal activity? 
    • Because our procedures supplement natural healing, early activity is strongly encouraged. Wait times are dependent on the type of procedure performed.
  • What kind of activity can I do after a joint procedure?
    • If there is minimal cartilage loss and in the case of a partial tendon/ligament/muscle tear, low-impact activities are encouraged immediately after the procedure. Full high-impact activities are expected within four to six weeks of the procedure.
    • In the case of a partial tendon/ligament/muscle tear, low-impact activities would be encouraged immediately after the procedure. Full high-impact activities would be expected at four to six weeks.
  • What kind of activity can I do after bone-healing procedures (for fracture nonunion or avascular necrosis)?
    • In these cases, patients are required to refrain from using the injured body part until the pain from the procedure subsides. They then can then begin slowly increasing activities over the next few weeks. This healing process typically takes one to three weeks, with normal activity resuming at about six weeks. The only exception is when there is an existing rod or plate stabilizing the fracture site—in that case, normal activity may be resumed more quickly.
  • Will I need physical therapy after the procedure? 
    • Eastern Idaho Spine, Sports & Rehab Center focuses our healing efforts beyond a single injured body part to help prevent the return of the injury. As a result, it’s likely we will recommend other types of conservative care to restore normal biomechanics including physical therapy, different types of myofascial release, or specific home exercises.
  • What is the success rate of the Regenexx procedures? 
    • The success rate depends on the severity of the injury. Click here to view the latest Regenexx procedure outcome data.

 

What research supports the efficacy of transplanting mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from bone marrow to heal orthopedic issues? 

Knee

Cartilage Repair

Hip

Tendons

Ankle

Ligaments

Bone

Building New Blood Vessels