Stem Cell FAQ

Consultations offered at our eight convenient locations in Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Mankato, Maple Grove, Medina, Moorhead and Woodbury

What is the potential benefit?

Stem cell injections provide a non-surgical treatment option to reduce pain and promote natural healing and regeneration, while still providing long-lasting relief from chronic degenerative orthopedic conditions.

Who is a suitable candidates?

In general, stem cell treatments are appropriate for patients suffering from a degenerative musculoskeletal condition. This includes mild to moderate osteoarthritis affecting body areas such as the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, foot, hand, or digits. Stem cell treatments are also appropriate for patients with chronic tendinitis, partially torn tendons, and damaged musculoskeletal tissues, including damage or degeneration of the rotator cuff, labrum, meniscus, or avascular necrosis of bone.

Who is an unsuitable candidate?

Conditions excluding a patient from being a suitable candidate for a stem cell treatment at MRM include:

  1. a patient with active cancer not in remission for at least 5 years; or prior lymphoma, leukemia
  2. a patient with a current or active infection
  3. a patient needing to take blood thinners (such as Coumadin or Warfarin)
  4. a patient needing to take anti-platelet medications (such as to prevent stroke or stenosis of coronary stent)
  5. a patient with a contraindication to having liposuction or autologous stem cell + PRP treatment
  6. a patient with complex or severe medical issues
  7. an elderly patient, perhaps beyond age 75 (since the number and regenerative capability of stem cells decreases with advancing age)

What joints, tendons, ligaments, and musculoskeletal tissues can be treated?

The most common joints treated with stem cells include the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, hand, finger and toe. These joints are, not surprisingly, the ones most commonly damaged over time. The most common tendons treated with stem cells involve those with chronic tendinitis or partial tears such as the shoulder rotator cuff, distal biceps tendon, medial or lateral elbow tendons, patellar tendon, and Achille’s tendon.

What are the risks?

An orthopedic stem cell treatment to treat a degenerative musculoskeletal condition uses your own fat tissue (stem cells). Since these stem cells come from your own fat, there is no chance of rejection. There is a small risk of infection following a stem cell treatment, however prophylactic antibiotics and sterilizing skin preparations are routinely used at MRM for all stem cell treatments. You can expect some soreness at both the liposuction site and the stem cell injection site for a few days following the procedure.

What is the cost of treatment at MRM?

The price for a stem cell treatment at MRM is determined by how much fat tissue is harvested and minimally manipulated to isolate stem cells. While the price can vary, the price options for a stem cell treatment at MRM is either $5900 (single amount of fat harvested for stem cell isolation) or $7850 (double amount of fat harvested for stem cell isolation). The number of degenerative areas requested by the patient for stem cell treatment usually determines whether a single amount or a double amount of fat is harvested for stem cell isolation.

Musculoskeletal stem cell treatments using fluoroscopy or ultrasound-guidance for injections are typically not a covered benefit of Medicare or private insurance.

At which locations is the treatment performed?

Our regenerative medicine specialists at Minnesota Regenerative Medicine currently provide stem cell treatments only at our Maple Grove facility. An complete stem cell treatment session takes five hours or less to perform.

What if I am a suitable candidate for treatment?

If you can make the trip, we recommend that you schedule an appointment for a regenerative medicine consultation to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a stem cell treatment. To expedite this process, we ask that you bring with you a copy of any MRI, X-ray, imaging, or radiology reports for our specialists to read, as well as any other pertinent medical records.

Where do the stem cells come from?

The stem cells used for a stem cell treatment originate from the patient’s own fat tissue where surplus stem cells reside within its stromal vascular fraction.

What is the success rate?

Since we began performing stem cell treatments in 2011, our experience is that most patients experience varying degrees of pain relief and various levels of functional improvement following a stem cell treatment for a degenerative musculoskeletal condition. It is rare for a stem cell recipient not to experience some degree of improvement following a stem cell treatment at MRM.

Sometimes, for large joints such as shoulders and knees, we recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections be performed monthly for 2 consecutive months following the initial stem cell treatment to maximize treatment results, since PRP’s myriad of growth factors and bioactive agents stimulate neighboring stem cells to divide and differentiate. Each PRP treatment beyond the initial stem cell treatment session will incur an additional charge. Ongoing clinical improvement following a stem cell treatment can continue for a year or so. Of the many patients treated so far at MRM with stem cell treatments, the majority of patients asked during their follow-up visits have self-reported significant pain relief and improvement in musculoskeletal function.

Does treatment consist of one or multiple injections?

The number of stem cell injections per treatment session varies, depending on the severity and complexity of the degenerative musculoskeletal condition being treated. The needles used at MRM are small in diameter (25-Gauge) since the solution containing the stem cells is close to the consistency of water. This is in contrast to the large needles required to inject thick, viscous solutions containing either corticosteroids or visco-supplements (hyaluronic acid).

Free Consultation

Our regenerative medicine specialist consults with each patient to customize a treatment plan specific to their needs, wants, and desired treatment results.