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July 13Patient Costs Comparisons of Regenerative Medicine Therapies VS. Steroid Injection

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The idea behind Regenerative Medicine Injection Therapies (RMIT) such as PRP and Stem Cell Therapy, is to utilize healing components in the body to naturally relieve the patient of chronic pain. This pain may be due to cartilage degradation or rips and tears of tendons or ligaments. RMIT are actually aiding in the regrowth of the components that make up the damaged materials, creating a long term solution to a problem and not just masking the pain. Since these therapies are often times not covered by insurance, patients’ first concerns are how much their out of pocket costs are going to be. Let’s look at the costs associated with RMIT compared to that of cortisone/steroid injections.

A cortisone injection typically contains a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. Cortisone injections are used to reduce inflammation and temporarily relieve pain. While a steroid injection is administered similarly to RMIT, it is not actually doing anything to fix what is causing the pain, but simply just hiding it.

According to an analysis at health.costhelper.com, a single cortisone injection costs between $100-$300 just for the shot itself not including another $50-$200 for the office visit for patients without insurance. While injections are typically covered by insurance, there are stipulations. If there is no documented pain relief after two injections, a third injection will be considered not medically necessary and therefore not covered. Patients still reported paying anywhere from $300-$1800 for a single treatment. Considering this is a temporary solution and multiple injections are typically required, this cost can actually range from $900-$5400. Did I mention the fact you have to be poked with a needle more than once? Ouch!

Now let’s examine the costs associated with RMIT. A PRP injection typically costs $800-$1300 while a stem cell therapy injection may range from $2500-$4000. While these seem to be high at first glance, the chances of a second injection being required are very slim. Many physicians report having to do a second injection only 20% of the time.

With RMIT you are actually getting right to the root of the problem and finding what is causing the pain while also improving functionality! I would much rather be poked with a needle once and know I am working with my body to repair itself than be injected multiple times with slim chances of seeing a solution to a long-term problem.

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