The Regenexx Difference- A Medical Practice with More than a Push Button Centrifuge

by Chris Centeno, MD /

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Medical practices that offer stem cell therapies fall into three distinct categories, levels 1-3 (see above). At the most basic level, the practice uses an off the shelf, bedside centrifuge to spin down samples. This is the same type of machine that produces PRP (platelet rich plasma). The advantage of this type of simple set-up for stem cell procedures is that it’s inexpensive for the doctor to get started. The downside is that it produces a much less sophisticated stem cell concentrate than could be produced by a cell biologist. At this same level of sophistication are other bedside kits being used to process cells at the bedside or in an operating room without a sterile hood. We have serious concerns about this type of processing, especially for fat tissue, as it’s often not processed in an adequate safe environment (like a biologic safety cabinet or “hood”), but instead by a medical assistant working on an open table in a patient room.

The next level of sophistication up is a level II procedure, or a basic “in-office” hood.  The advantage is that while a bit more costly, there’s an actual person processing samples. All of the Regenexx Network providers have these more advanced set-ups rather than push button bedside centrifuges.

The third type of stem cell therapy setting is a level 3 Advanced Lab. This is staffed with dedicated cell biologists and has advanced capabilities such as cell culture, flow cytometry, phase contrast microscopy (the ability to see and count cells without having to harm them by staining), fluorescent microscopy, ELISA, qPCR, cryo-preservation (the ability to bank cells and save quality assurance samples) etc… Not only can a higher quality cell based procedure can be performed, but varied procedures can be offered to best meet the need of the patient. In addition, things like checking the viability of the cells and the doctor’s harvest and re-implant procedures can easily be accomplished. 

The Centeno-Schultz clinic has always used a level III lab facility with dedicated cell biologists rather than bedside centrifuges. The reason is that this allows us to offer patients the highest quality stem cell procedures and adjust the patient’s cell sample to meet their needs. While this is dramatically more costly than bedside centrifuges, we believe the additional cost creates better stem cell solutions.

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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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Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
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Shoulder

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Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

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Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

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Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

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Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
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Hand & Wrist

Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

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Hip

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Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

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Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
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