The use of cell therapy is becoming more popular.
As Patients have treatments and get better, they spread the word! Patients are beginning to realize the incredible potential of these “Orthobiologic” treatments and social media is letting the world know about these improvements.
As more and more patients turn to advertisements about “stem cell treatments” they are left to wonder……WHICH CLINIC DO I CHOOSE?
Many stem cell clinics are run by Chiropractors….. not doctors
It is important to understand that in South Carolina and other parts of the U.S., it is Chiropractors who are the leading stem cell providers. Unable to do injections themselves because of legal restrictions, they hire a doctor to do stem cell injections in their office. The doctor, often with no experience in the treatment of joint and spine disease, and with no knowledge and training in the use of ultrasound and fluoroscopy, comes to the office and injects donor cells blindly into the “area” where the patient has a problem.
Some doctors have little experience
There are also medical providers with no experience in the treatment of spine and joint disease, and no training or experience with image guidance, who begin to offer “stem cells” because they see it as the “next best thing” and they see patient demand. These physicians can often be recognized by the way they offer a variety of self pay products such as hormones, laser treatments, vitamins and have a virtual marketplace for patients. They are always getting into the latest new thing on the market, knowing a little about a lot of things and a lot about nothing.
The problem with unqualified providers
Chiropractors are are an asset and they help people daily with spine and joint pain, and doctors who rely on the “next best thing” provide a service too. But there can be real issues using these providers for stem cell.
- Don’t have the experience to recognize when a patient is a poor candidate
- Don’t have the experience to treat the joint or spine with the best methods
- are not always able to get the cells where they need to go
- may not be prepared to deal with complications
- typically “sell” patients on donated cells, because it is easier, not because it is better.
Qualifications of the best Orthobiologic doctors
At this point there are few residency programs in regenerative medicine, and those that are available have to be taught by someone who learned this specialty on his own. The best provider for regenerative medicine is one who has developed a genuine interest in stem cell and other regenerative treatments because they view it as a better option for patients they have been treating for years. He or she will have:
- medical license in good standing
- a history of treating joint and spine disease, and experience with traditional treatments
- experience with ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance
- training by experienced personnel
- affiliations with large groups of physicians with similar experience in stem cell
- the ability to enter patient outcomes in a database, and follow patients long term
There are excellent, experienced physicians you can turn to for cell therapy, but you must assess each clinic for appropriate qualifications.