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Stem Cell Injection Experience

I am just going to keep my journey so far short because I am sure that many people would understand what the whole journey is like:

Disc herniation in 2015, severe sciatic pain, Chiropractors and Physical therapy didn't help, got epidurals, didn't help. Got L4-L5 discectomy done within 7 months of the injury. But the pain didn't go away.  Further MRIs show no more bulge but the surgeon says that the nerve probably got permanent damage and I just have to deal with the pain. I tried epidurals again, didn't help. Got an MRN done, and MRN also shows no damage to the nerve. No one has any clue why my sciatic nerve wont just calm down.


Finally decided to get stem cell injections. The doctor did some fat extraction and injected me with stem cells at around 10 spots. Felt good for about 5 days, but the pain is back again after those 5 days. Doctor has already mentioned that it takes about 2 to 3 months for the stem cells to completely do their thing. It has been 5 weeks so far, but don't see any difference yet. Just wanted to share my experience here. Will update again in a few weeks regarding the progress. If there is anyone in the same boat, please share your experiences as well.

 

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343
    edited 07/18/2019 - 1:55 PM

    hello orbit!

    we have had a few past members that talked about stem cell but no one has actually posted their experience with it. thank you for doing this. when you update, please do it here, not a new discussion. that way new members will get the whole story.
    after 2-3 months and there is no progress, will your doctor do it again?
    good luck and i hope you see some progress soon.
  • ArizonaAArizona ArizonaPosts: 163

    Does insurance cover this?

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  • Insurance doesn't cover that. But you can use HSA funds for the payments

  • Wanted to provide an update here. It has been more than 3 months now that I got the stem cell & PRP injections. Didn't see much of a difference for the first 8 weeks. Doctor just keeps saying that I need to give it more time and wait at least for 6 months to feel the full effect. When the pain intensified, he suggested that I get Prolo therapy injections, which he said would speed up the healing process. The first Prolo therapy injections were very helpful and the relief lasted about 2 weeks before the pain came back gain. I got another round of the same Prolo therapy, and it feels a bit better now. I am not sure how long this is going to last.

  • My son received stem cell injections this morning to address chronic lower back pain.  I just thought I would add to this thread and plan to provide information regarding his experience. There are several different schools of thought and procedures for stem cell therapy.  There seem to be pros and cons for each type of procedure. In his case, the stem cells used were umbilical cord. They were injected without steroids or anesthesia. From what I understand, progress (if any) will be gradual as the stem cells activate the healing properties in his body. I will keep you guys posted on how he does. 

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    Icarpenter

    I am so sorry to hear about your son. But hopefully this will work out. Once in a while we have members ask about stem cell. We have older discussions but no one gives us updates.
    So thank you. We would like to hear how your son is doing.

  • rehabsmartrrehabsmart Posts: 13
    edited 07/18/2019 - 1:58 PM

     yes a lot of people with spinal issues are interested in PRP and stem cells. Here is a link to a search I did on the U.S. National Library of Medicine. 


    For anyone interested, these are all cited articles and have some very promising and intriguing information. There are some articles with stem cell trials and there results which are also very promising. 

    Edited by Sandra for external link

  • Just an update. This is really early in the process as my son only received stem cell injections 4 days ago. So no real signs of relief yet, but I thought folks might be interested in his experience so far. The procedure was quick. Total time in the doctor’s office was about 30 minutes. He’s young (25) and apparently has very dense muscle structure which makes injections more difficult and tends to cause more than typical discomfort following injection type procedures. His discomfort has been noticeable but not as severe as with past steroid injections and has gradually reduced over these few days. So far so good. 

  • Great info. Thanks rehabsmart! 

  • @lcarpenter were the stem cells injected into a disc, muscle, ligament, epidural space, or a combination of these? Thanks 

  • In the soft tissue on either side of the spine. In multiple locations. 

  • Update on son...stem cell injections May 15. No noticeable progress, yet. Was hoping to see at least SOMETHING good by now, but nothing so far. His doctor says we should see results in 5 months. We will see...

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    Icarpenter

    I am so sorry about your son. But never give up, there is always hope that, like the doctor said, you should see results in 5 months. 
    Please keep us posted if there are any changes.

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 319

    I mentioned this to my surgeon some time ago and his opinion was that the only stem cells that showed promise were from embryos. I too am interested in how your injections perform.

  • In 2017 I had a laminectomy on the left side. Seems like maybe scar tissue could be an issue. I have had all kinds of treatments. About 3 weeks ago I got a perineural injection over my scar. That seems to have given me some more mobility. I had stem cell injections on May 30, 2019 and have not seen too much improvement. My doctor says I need to allow at least 6 months to see any outcome. Now I'm wearing an SI joint belt for the last 4 weeks seems to help some. After 2 and a half years I think I'm done trying to fix this. What a chore and disappointment. Seems like it should not be that hard to determine the problem. My doctor has also mentioned to me about prolotherapy and ozone therapy. 

  • So sorry, lefty16. We can relate. Beyond frustrating. 

  • Almost 3 months since stem cell injections. No progress. Back pain is actually worse than it was before the injections. Feeling very discouraged. This was kinda the last resort for us. We’ve tried everything out there. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    Icarpenter

    I am so sorry you have not seen any progress. But I do thank you for the update, hopefully it will help other members looking into this. 
    Take care and hope to hear from you again.

  • I received stem cell injections May 30th in my SI joints. Seems like it's working but it's hard to tell because my low back is still in pain. Doctor suggested stem cell injections L4-L5. I also had prolotherapy and not a lot of improvement with that injection. 

  • lcarpenterlcarpenter Posts: 81
    edited 08/31/2019 - 4:35 AM

    Update. Still no progress. Pain is worse. Actually really really bad. I can honestly say that we have tried everything out there. Last resort was to return to pain management. No help there either. They just want to do steroid injections which have NOT helped the last dozen or so times he’s gotten them. They actually increase the pain due to the muscle spasms they trigger. We can’t do increased pain right now! Not to mention the risks associated with them. Doctors order them and don’t tell people about the dangers. At the end of the rope. This mom is terrified. Truly and completely terrified. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    lcarpenter

    Saying "I'm sorry" does not help with what you are going through. My heart goes out to you and will keep you all in my prayers.


  • Thank you, memetsinbolt!!! I appreciate your kind words and prayers!

  • Ok, good news/bad news on our stem cell journey. It’s been almost 5 months now. Bad news:  things are steadily getting worse. Increased pain and all the awful things that go along with it. Good news: in theory... The functional medicine doctor feels like the stem cells are “waking up” the cells in his body that have shut down due to stress from pain and trauma. The theory is that this will stimulate healing...eventually. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m thinking it would be better if those cells had stayed dormant. What I do know is that this sucks. Truly sucks. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    T hank so much for the update. I am so sorry this has not helped. But it's very interesting that the doctor said the cells could have shut down due to pain and stress. 
    You and your family are still in my prayers, it never hurts.

    Sandra

  • Thanks, Sandra! Yes, I agree. I think all this is very interesting. They did testing that’s designed to show how well his body is functioning based on the health of his cells (functional medicine kinda stuff). The tests showed really low cell functioning. They said prolonged stress can affect your body that way and that his body isn’t able to heal itself when his cells are in such bad shape. So they are addressing his nutritional needs and giving him lots of supplements. They explained it way better than I did but that’s the gist of  what I got. I’m really interested in the functional medicine approach to things. Nothing else has worked, so I figure it’s worth a try. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,343

    I hope you do not mind but I have bookmarked your discussion. Once in a while we have a member that wants information on stem cell. 
    Thank you again for keeping us updated.

    Sandra

  • lcarpenter,

    I just wanted to pipe in and say thank you for talking about your son's experience.  I am truly sorry he is going through this and that you are having to see him in such pain.  Pain is a harder pill to swallow when it involves our children....saying a prayer for both of you today.

  • Of course I don’t mind, Sandra! And, thank you,  Kand. :)

  • Yes, I had stem cell therapy in Tampa, Florida, my experience was negative due to the fact that, or the following drugs that I had to take, made me very sick.

    I paid more than $ 10,000.00 and I didn't think it was an absurd price.

    Stem cell therapy was for C.O.P.D ..

    My husband first saw a sign on the highway when they first opened and due to the lack of results, I would not recommend the clinic.

    The clinic and the people were very nice, but of course I pay them in a nice way and after the first treatment failed, they wanted me to get another stem cell treatment at almost twice the price.

  • imrankhiimrankh Posts: 15
    edited 10/23/2019 - 3:42 AM

    @Icarpenter Thankyou so much for sharing your story. It just  [edited] me off that doctors present these treatment such that its a very simple procedure with minimal theoretical risks but it turns out a night mare for the patient. I was told that I would be only two weeks off from work after a MicroDiscectomy surgery. Today marks 13th month that I am off and on a hellish road to recovery. Has your son tried decompression treatment? Recently I have come across a few people who actually got completely pain free with it. Also did your son got only Stem cell injections or PRP as well?

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