Have you considered stem cell injections or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for your chronic knee pain but were discouraged by the high out-of-pocket cost? A lower-cost but highly effective advanced treatment is available for knee, back, heel, shoulder pain, and more.
You should consider prolotherapy. Prolotherapy involves injecting a concentrated glucose solution rather than platelets or stem cells. It appears to work by stimulating healing, much the same way that PRP and stem cell injections may work.
The main difference is cost. Stem cell injections average $5,000 - not covered by insurance. PRP averages $1,000 per injection, with several injections usually required — also not covered by insurance.
At The Taub Group, prolotherapy costs $200-$300 per session,* with a series of 4 sessions recommended. Although prolotherapy is not covered by insurance or Medicaid/Medicare, the cost is a small fraction of the cost of PRP or stem cell injections.
Over fifty research articles have found prolotherapy to be an effective treatment for back and joint pain. On the other hand, the research on PRP and stem cell injections shows them to be modestly effective, if that.
A recent quote from a review in a prestigious orthopedic journal states, "In conclusion, the efficacy of cellular (stem cell) therapy injections has not yet been established. The value . . . of cell therapy in orthopedics remains unclear”.
In contrast, the effectiveness of prolotherapy has been demonstrated in multiple research trials. A recent quote from a very large review of much of the research on prolotherapy notes, “The results of this . . . review indicate that . . . prolotherapy conferred a positive, significant beneficial effect . . . in the treatment of knee OA (arthritis with chronic pain)”.
Knee Pain / Knee Osteoarthritis1-3
Shoulder Pain (Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy)4
Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylosis)5,6
Ankle Pain (Achilles Tendinopathy)7,8
Groin Pain (Groin Adductor Tendinopathy)9
Heel Pain (Chronic Plantar Fasciopathy)10
Dysfunctional Sacroiliac Joint11,12
*Price ranges current as of March 21, 2019. Please review current costs of your prescribed treatment plan during your consultation.