Q: How Much Recovery Is Possible from Stem Cell Therapy?
A: Spinal cord injuries are one of the most devastating injuries that can happen to the human body. It makes sense that people want to know more about stem cells and their ability to help paralysis. The jury is still out on exactly how much stem cell therapy can help. Some report results, some report no results. No one however is walking or is healed 100%.
Thousands of people with spinal cord injuries have undergone some cell therapy in the US and abroad, in countries like Panama, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and China. The improvements however are incremental and could be described as minor, but to many people who experience these improvements, they are huge and meaningful in their lives.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will not pay for any kind of stem cell treatment, even if it is in the US. Stem cell treatments can cost anywhere from $6000 to $100,000 as well, depending on the kind of treatment received. In the US alone, people travel all around the country to receive stem cell treatments. They can be found in most states, with popular stem cell clinics in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, California, New Jersey, New York, and many others.
Traveling overseas may seem like a bad idea to some, but there are many people from the US who have traveled overseas for some stem cell treatments to countries like India, China, and the Dominican Republic. If you do travel overseas, it is important to know that many of the clinics use adult stem cells from umbilical cords, which stem cell proponents say are one of the best kinds of stem cells for repair to occur. These stem cells are called mesenchymal stem cells.
There are also several different ways doctors use stem cells. Some take them from your body and inject them back into your spinal column, which is a common stem cell treatment. One way doctors will extract stem cells from your body is via your bone marrow. Another method is taking the fat from your body, sometimes from your stomach, then turning the fat cells into adult stem cells, and then reinserting them back into the spinal column.
In New York, a popular stem cell clinic uses exosome stem cell treatments. Exosome stem cell treatments also have varying results and are very expensive. Many have also tried this method, and all have seen varying results. These stem cells come from donated umbilical cord stem cells as well.
And there are some hopeful anecdotal stories of people who have undergone stem cell treatments. One gentleman went to a stem cell clinic in Panama to receive a stem cell treatment/stem cells from his own body that cost roughly $28,000. He was a C5-6 complete quadriplegic. Even though he did not walk as a result of the treatment, he saw many beneficial side effects like improved function in his upper extremities, improve sexual function, and bladder function. For many, this is worth the money.
Due to the expenses of stem cell treatments, it is up to each individual to weigh the possible benefits vs. the costs. For many, the money could instead go towards making a home accessible, purchasing adaptive equipment, or acquiring an accessible vehicle. For many, however, no expense is too great. Just be very wary. Many say reputable clinics that can truly help should never charge.
To acquire funds for a stem cell treatment, some will choose to get a loan or many will fund-raise online using sites like Gofundme. Just know that the recovery you may see from any stem cell treatment is not guaranteed, and if you polled everyone who’s undergone any kind of stem cell therapy, you would see the odds aren’t Vegas great. Not yet. Go with your gut and guard your money closely, but it’s never dumb to have hope that a stem cell treatment may work. We also recommend checking out many of the stem cell trials also happening in the US, and these are typically free.
Stay Updated on Advancements On Traumatic Brain &
Spinal Cord Injuries
About the Author
Spinal Cord Team