thumb arthritis stem cell therapy

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Has anyone had stem cell therapy on a thumb?  I am a 70 year old woman interested in Bone Marrow, and PRP injections but have not found anyone who has had this procedure done.  Wondering if it will be worth it.  I realize there is no guarantee of success, but did it help you and for how long?

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  • Posted

    Morning Diane,  I know nothing about this but am also very interested in hearing about this.  I have horrible pain in my thumb/hand and need the joint replaced but am afraid to have this done.  I work and need to get back to work as soon as possible following surgery even if it's part time.  I don't know if the stem cell causes any down time.  Is this something that is covered by insurance?  If not, wonder what the cost is.  

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    • Posted

      Insurence does not cover any regenerative  procedures but for us it pretty much doesn't cover anything else either so it's a wash. The deductables are so enormous that it's not even a question, we don't get covered for anything. may as well find out if you're a candidate. I paid around 4000 or 4500...can't remember exactly. I went back to work the same day...no problem. very painful injections but subsides in 40 minutes or so to just pain if bumped or trying to grasp. My doctor braced me for a month to keep the joints quiet...both done at once. you will need help with zippers, buttons, etc. but you can tie your shoe without your thumb. brushing teeth a little tricky but I would not call any of it down time. I took pain meds 1st night because of throbbing but that's all. Fine work takes a few months but it didn't slow me down much to speak of. Joints are still sensitive but more than 50 percent better so it was worth doing. before they often would throb even if I didn't bump them. Not a miracle cure but can improve things if you heal well and have enough quality stem cells to work with. hope that helps

       

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    • Posted

      Morning Gardenfairy,  What an ordeal but glad you are finally doing well.  I guess sadly what I'm looking for is an instant fix.  But realistically I know any procedure whether it be stem cell or surgery will take time.  What type of doctor did your procedure?  

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    • Posted

      My doctor is a primary care sports physician who is also in the largest regenerative group here in the U.S. They are based in Colorado but have doctors trained throughout the country. He is the only doc from that group here in Cincinnati and works out of a large orthopedic hospital. He treats the Reds and Bengals and all the big sports figures here. I guess we'd all like a quick fix but there are none.

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    • Posted

      My doctor is also ortho/sports medicine here in Gadsden, AL.  I will have to discuss this procedure with him next week when I see him.  One more quick question - how long a period of time was it from the beginning of the process to when you actually had the injections?  
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    • Posted

      Dr. did traditional prolotherapy to start clean up and tighten ligaments. One week later bone marrow and blood are taken and processed in the lab, injected into the joint space with guided ultrasound. This is the stem cell and platelet injection. Braces are made for my thumbs. One week later I returned for platelets which feed the stem cells to help them grow. so three visits over two weeks. If you private message me I can give you the name of the company. They have doctors all over the U.S. Hospitals and clinics do not have the equipment or the training to do these injections if they are not doing the regenerative procedures. They won't invest in the lab equipment unless it's part of their regular practice

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    • Posted

      could you please provide me with a contact info? I have had a very debilitating injury TFCC tear to be exact to my right wrist. It has been 9 mo already and doesn't look good. I would like to try stem cells before surgery

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    • Posted

      Hi Maria,

       I don't know if there is a way to private message on this thread. I know I can't post my doctor or the regenerative network he is in. Do you know how we could connect without me posting my email on line? My stem cell count was so plentiful that my doctor had enough to do my wrist also. I had sprained it badly 20 years ago and it has never been right since. It took quite a few months but my wrist is really pretty good now. (It's been maybe two years since the treatment)  It feels more stable and only bothers me if I have too much weight or impact on it so I try not to abuse it. 

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    • Posted

      Mostly stem cell therapy is not covered by the insurance. Though I know one clinic in Tampa, Florida which are in-network with most major insurance carriers. 

      Here what they say:

      "Our Doctors are in-network with most major insurance carriers including Medicare. It means that the doctors’ visits and prescriptions will be partially covered by health care, and the amount you are responsible for paying will be less than if you go to an out-of-network physician."

      My friend's grandmother did stem cell injections there. She had a knee pain, not sure exactly what diagnosis she had. However, my friend told me that she feels much better now. 

      here is the link to their website https://advancedregenerativeorthopedics.com/available-financing-options

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    • Posted

      I am  65 with debilitating pain in my thumb joints. Very keen to avoid fusion surgery and investigate the option of stem cell therapy. In Australia it is still in early stages of using this treatment. Would you give me details of who and where in the states I could be assessed as to whether I could be a candidate for the procedure please.

       

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    • Posted

      Hello could you please email me the name of the company...i am very interested in the procedure....tswift30@comcast.net...

      Thank you in advance

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  • Posted

    I had it done on both thumbs 1 1/2 years ago as well as my wrist which I had sprained many years before. I was able to do my wrist because my stem cell count was unusually high so there was extra and we didn't want to waste them. I had stage 4 arthritis which is advanced but I am a lot younger than you so that could make a difference...also depends on your stem cell count, general health, and whether you take any prescriptions which could hinder the success. My doctor gave me a 2 out of 3 shot for inprovement as I am over 50, had advanced arthritis , and thumbs require high numbers of cells (fortunately I had those high numbers but you don't know until the marrow is processed.) Pain from the procedure lingered a long time as far as doing buttons, zippers, etc. but that's part of the result from a high cell count...high count= more pain but better chance for success. I would say I'm 50 percent better at least but still have pain if I do push ups or anything where I put a lot of weight on my hands & joint. At least 6 months before any improvement showed and longer for my wrist. That took about a year but is about 90 percent better. Hope this helps. take the recommended supplements! Good luck!

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    • Posted

      how are your thumbs now?  I am considering stem cell therapy for arthritis in my thumbs. I am in northern Colorado.  Did you go to someone in Denver? 

       

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    • Posted

      The network I used is based in Colorado. We have two doctors here in their group and they all train in Colorado. Bone marrow stem cells are used. They will give you an estimate on whether you are a good candidate. Thumbs are iffy but I had enough improvement to make it worthwhile. I only have pain if I do planks or push ups. The weight on the joints lets me know they are not perfect. But they never throb without provocation like they used too. I had stage 4 arthritis. I'm over two years now. I am glad I did it and may repeat the process in a few years if they bother me more. There have been some advances already in the last two years as far as extracting higher counts from both platelets and marrow.

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    • Posted

      thank you for the info.  I had a consultation Wednesday.  I plan to get at least one more opinion.  have you heard of any other options?  Surgery/implant?

       

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    • Posted

      the physical therapist said the surgery works pretty well...they cut the bone and I guess fuse the joint. Didn't sound great to me with all the things I do with my hands and why have surgery if you have other options? Many people go that route because the insurance pays . If you have a high deductible like we do you're have to pay at least the cost of the stem cell therapy before it kicks in anyway. Sometimes surgery is the only option for certain things but I would avoid it myself if possible.

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    • Posted

      I am researching stem cell/PRO treatment for osteoarthritis affecting hands and feet. It's extremely expensive but surgery is so invasive and irreversible. I was told today that only 30% of treated patients have sufficient ste m cells from marrow to do 2 areas. They can't guarantee a patient's stem cell count so it's a huge gamble if you want to treat multiple areas. For those of you who have had a hand or foot treated, do you have arthritis all over or just in the areas treated? How did the doctor charge? Per joint, or per finger or toe?

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    • Posted

      The network I used takes marrow from several areas. That's the way to get the highest count because most of the stem cells are in the upper layers of the marrow. I had my facets done last year and six areas were used for the harvest. This may be be more recent research because I had the thumb injections with marrow from one area a few years back. He injected both thumbs and my wrist on one office visit. Or maybe that's because the joints were so small. I don't know. Some of my friends have had both knees done. Our doctor did them 8 weeks apart so that the stem cells could replenish to make sure the harvest was adequate. I only needed one harvest and had 6 facet joints done at once. Maybe the size of the joint is the determining factor. You can get a quote when you consult with the doctor.

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