Do you find yourself struggling with joint pain? If so, you’re definitely not alone.
In fact, joint pain is one of the leading causes of physical discomfort for millions of people around the world. Fortunately, over the last few years, science has made some incredible breakthroughs in the area of pain relief.
One of these breakthroughs involves stem cell treatments. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of stem cell injections, you’ve come to the right place for answers.
This article takes a look at the most important questions you should ask before receiving this type of treatment. Keep reading to discover insight into how to make sure stem cells are the right avenue of treatment for your pain.
1. What is Your Medical Specialization?
Believe it or not, most physicians have a specialty. That’s right, doctors aren’t created equal. This is actually great because focusing on a specific area of medicine enables a physician to become incredibly knowledgeable in that particular field.
That’s why it’s so important to find a physician with extensive training in fields such as guided injections, including fluoroscopy or ultrasound.
Look for board-certified physicians who specialize in interventional pain treatment, sports medicine, physical medicine, and are trained to perform injection-based treatment for joint pain.
2. What is Your Method for Harvesting Stem Cells?
Another important consideration is how the physician harvests the stem cells they intend to use for the injections.
After all, harvesting stem cells is a crucial step in the process. Also, keep in mind that the technique used in harvesting will differ based on the source of the stem cells.
The harvesting process requires a great deal of experience. Otherwise, there can be a significant risk of the blood aspirating without stem cells. And if they harvest from only one site, there’s a possibility of a low yield of the targeted cells.
3. How Do You Track Outcome Data?
It’s important to understand that no one can guarantee a success rate of 100 percent. Because of this, you should inquire about the method the physician uses to collect and report data regarding their treatment outcomes.
Be very specific in asking about their success rate and where those results can be found. This data should include reporting on pre and post-op pain, as well as any complications that patients might have experienced.
Make sure that the information includes both positive and negative outcomes. After all, not every procedure will be successful. The reported results should be indexed in a registry, enabling physicians and potential patients to review the data, and for the medical community to be able to study the results in order to make improvements.
The more data they are able to collect and report, the better. This will help both patients and the medical community remain as informed as possible.
4. How Many Procedures Have You Performed?
When it comes to stem cells, the surgeon’s experience is a significant factor. That’s why you need to find a physician with plenty of experience with treatments.
This is another reason why reporting is so important. After all, you need to be able to see their track record and study their success rate.
For stem cell surgical procedures, a surgeon generally won’t consider themselves an expert until they’ve completed a specific procedure at least two hundred times.
This information is crucial so that you can gauge whether or not they are the right physician to perform your stem cell injection.
5. How Do You Count the Stem Cells Being Injected?
Dosing is one of the most important aspects of effectively practicing medicine. This is especially true when it comes to harvesting and injecting stem cells. After all, proper treatment requires highly-controlled dosing methods.
Prior to injecting stem cells into a patient, the cells must be processed to remove less useful cells. Clinics typically use small centrifuges in order to isolate which cell stem cell concentrations are of lower quality.
Be sure to ask your healthcare provider which method of isolation, concentration, and cell count they typically utilize for the processing of stem cells before treating patients.
The clinic should be able to provide detailed information so that you have a full understanding of what to expect prior to treatment.
6. What is Your Method for Ensuring Correct Stem Cell Placement?
Even though stem cells have the ability to migrate to the source of inflammation in the body, your practicioner needs to have plenty of experience with these types of injections in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
There are a couple of different ways stem cells can be injected. Experienced physicians can effectively perform what are called blind injections. With this method the physician evaluates the joint, locates the correct point, and injects the stem cells. Blind injections are used in over half of all stem cell clinics. The second method is to employ image guidance technology using either flouroscopy or ultrasound. This method allows the practitioner to view the needle going into the joint space and can provide a greater measure of accuracy as well as reasurrance for the patient.
Be sure to ask your physician what method they use for injections before moving forward with the procedure.
7. How Will You Determine if Stem Cell Treatments are Right for Me?
Keep in mind that stem cell treatments aren’t for everyone. The simple truth is that one size doesn’t fit all. Thus not every patient with an interest in this type of procedure will make a good candidate.
The key is to talk with your physician about the possible benefits of using stem cells to treat your condition following a complete medical evaluation.
A Guide to the Questions You Should Ask Before Committing to Stem Cell Injections
There’s nothing fun about living with joint pain. Fortunately, stem cell injections provide a solution that can offer much-needed relief for people living with this type of chronic discomfort.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about our stem cell treatments.