Another Lower Back Stem Cell Injection Patient Result

by Chris Centeno, MD /

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lower back stem cell injectionWay back when, in 2005/6, when I injected the first patient in the world with stem cells into a damaged low back disc, it was “way out there.” In fact, we had to be under the supervision of an Institutional Review Board just to get it done. How times have changed in 13 short years. Now you can find any number of clinics all advertising that they can perform a lower back stem cell injection. However, from what we see, most of that is hype without much reality. So today I’ll try to separate the hype from reality, help you find a real lower back stem cell injection technology that’s likely to help, and show you one of the recent results from one of our patients.

Hype from Reality

Regrettably, there are more stem cell scams out there than legit lower back stem cell injection procedures. Why? We’ve seen chiropractors enter into the fray as well as physicians who don’t have the skill needed to inject the spine using imaging guidance. Hence, many of these procedures never get anywhere close the to disc. To learn more about how to separate hype from a real lower back stem cell injection, please watch my short video below:

Understanding Where to Inject What Is Critical

Regrettably, most of the physicians offering stem cell injection procedures for low back pain out there just learned what they know from a quick weekend course. Obviously, this can’t replace 12–13 years of experience observing which patients respond and which patients are more likely to fail these procedures. In fact, what’s more interesting is that, at the end of the day, not only do you have to know how to precisely inject various structures in the spine using imaging guidance, but you also need to understand what to inject. It’s this last part where most clinics fail.

For example, only certain types of injured low back discs are even a good fit for stem cell injections. Many patients with low back pain would be much better off being injected with less expensive and less invasive platelet-based procedures. To understand which damaged disc types respond best to which technology, watch my short video below:

Our Newest Patient Result

The before and after MRIs above are from a patient who had a large disc bulge at L4–L5, likely sustained in a bending accident. The patient actually tried platelet-based procedures injected epidurally and into his facet joints, and this did help his low back pain, but his leg symptoms continued. Hence, he was taken down to our licensed site in Grand Cayman to have specially culture-expanded stem cells from his bone marrow precisely injected into the disc bulge. The images on the left show a large disc bulge at L4–L5 which resolved seven months after the procedure. His leg symptoms also resolved.

Now please note that this type of lower back stem cell injection technology that can help disc bulges pressing on nerves without surgery isn’t available in the U.S. The specialized cultured procedure to grow the cells to higher numbers isn’t permitted. So this patient needed to be treated outside of the U.S. at our licensed Grand Cayman site.

The upshot? At the end of the day, we’ve been injecting discs with stem cells longer than anyone else on earth. Hence, Regenexx providers have the widest array of tools available to use to help low back pain patients. More importantly, we’ve learned a lot through the years about what works where and what’s likely a waste of the patient’s time and money!

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14 thoughts on “Another Lower Back Stem Cell Injection Patient Result

  1. Mark

    Would this procedure work for severe loss of disc height,(leg symptoms-pain weakness, and collapsed foramen) and bulging in 2 levels in lower lumbar,or are these types of cases referred for surgery?

    1. Regenexx Team

      Mark,

      We treat loss of disc height, (DDD), with different technology focusing on the facet joints, nerves and ligaments around the vertebrae. This procedure, which is only available in Grand Cayman, is used to treat disc bulges. We’d need more information about your specific case. If you’d like us to weigh in and see if you’d be a Candidate for either of these procedures, please submit the Candidate form to the right of the Blog.

  2. Larry Anderson

    My problem is my Knee’s! What has been done on this? Who has had it done? Are they satisfied with it? What are the Cost’s for this? Thanks [email protected]

  3. Reggie Edwards

    Thanks for your lower back stem cell article. I have a degenerate spine that causes pain in lower back and hip on my right side. I do exercises and walking which keeps the pain at a low level. Without seeing an x-ray would PRP give me some added relief? My Dr tells me my spine looks good but it is degenerated which is causing the pain. I am a 85 year old male. Thanks, Reggie

    1. Regenexx Team

      Reggie,
      Degenerative Disc Disease can respond to a treatment protocol focused on platelet and/or stem cell technology deployed to treat sloppy disc movement due to lax ligaments and arthritic facet joints. To determine what’s needed in your particular case, we’d need more information. If you’d like us to weigh in, please submit the candidate form: https://regenexx.com/blog/how-to-read-a-low-back-mri-report/

  4. Franceline Amengual

    My problem are my SI Joints! I’m not sure if it was caused do to an injury or because my ligaments are naturally lax. Do you have any experience with this area with PRP? and if so, what has been your success rate? I’m a 40 year old female going on my third year with chronic pain.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Francine,
      SI joint issues are very common among patients with general ligament laxity. Si Joints can be treated with precise image guided injections of Prolotherapy, PRP or stem cells, depending on what’s needed in each individual case. If you’d like us to weigh in on your particular case, please submit the Candidate form: https://regenexx.com/blog/leg-feels-disconnected/

  5. Will

    Didn’t I see a blurb somewhere that this kind of procedure is undergoing trials and will possibly be available in the U.S. in the not-so-distant future?

  6. Judy Howard

    My name is Judy Howard, and a year ago I fell from a ladder and started having severe back and leg pain. I have tried physical therapy, steroid injections and traction but nothing has been long lasting. I am taking so much pain medicine and would love to have my life back without pain and pain medication.
    I had back surgery in 1990 for a herniated disc due to a car accident. The L4-L5 disc was

    1. Regenexx Team

      Judy,
      Not sure what was supposed to come after “The L4-L5 disc was”. Many of our back patients have had prior surgery but we’d need more information to see if we can be of help. If you’d like us to weigh in, please submit the “Am I a Candidate” form, here: https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/back-surgery-alternative/

  7. Samuel K Wormenor

    I am suffering from hip joint problem, there is a wear at the pelvis slightly but total hip replacement is what my Doctor suggested. Please is there any injection or conservative treatment?

    1. Regenexx Team

      Samuel,
      Joint replacement can often be avoided. We have a process to gather the information we need to see if can help. Please submit the Candidate form so we can evaluate your case and let you know. Please see: https://regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/hip-surgery/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/hip-replacement-back-pain/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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