About The Procedure
No. While stem cell therapy shows promise in the rapidly growing body of scientific data, it has not been scientifically proven to be effective. Based on full-time stem cell therapy experience since 2010 and regenerative medicine experience since 2002, we are very careful to only treat patients that we think we have a chance of helping. Namely; patients who are in overall good health who suffer from chronic pain caused by damaged or degenerated musculoskeletal tissues (such as joints, spine, or ligaments), that is not "too far gone". We do not treat any systemic disease at all. While we have helped many people, there are people we have treated that we have not helped at all. Our experience is that overall, we help more people than we don't help, but there is nothing about stem cell therapy that is either a "miracle" or a "cure".
There are very few risks involved. You are certain to be sore for a few days after the procedure, but that is a side effect, not a risk. Infection is a serious risk, but is extremely rare. Regenerative injection therapy and adult stem cell therapy are conservative approaches to treating pain unlike surgery that might help, but it might make it worse. You can always have surgery, but you can’t “un-have” it. The biggest risk of these therapies is that it won’t help your condition, however, performed properly, they will not make your condition worse.
Short answer: no. Long answer: stem cell therapy and PRP are considered experimental procedures. While some insurance companies will pay for platelet rich plasma or bone marrow aspirate concentrate when used by a surgeon in conjunction with certain orthopedic surgeries, they generally do not pay when used as an injection. For this reason, Docere Clinics has a ‘payment at the time of service’ policy. Some clinics that offer regenerative injection and cellular therapies list on their websites the insurance plans they accept, but usually these clinics will only submit for the consultation and anesthetic/steroid injections.
Upon establishing that you are indeed a candidate for treatment, we will decide whether to harvest stem cells from your bone marrow (BMAC), from your fat (ADSC), or from both. Most patients who undergo treatment at Docere Clinics opt to receive both BMAC and ADSC in a single treatment. Based on close follow-up with our patients, this appears to provide the most consistent and powerful results. PLEASE NOTE - due to changes in the regulatory environment, we plan to totally discontinue the use of ADSC by November, 2020.
Please click here to read a scientific article written by Dr. Adelson published in The Pain Practitioner describing his experience comparing bone marrow stem cells, adipose stem cells, and the combination of the two for the treatment of low back and knee pain.
Clearly, if you have too little subcutaneous fat to consider lipoaspiration, then ADSC is not an option and we will opt instead for BMAC alone. If you have a history of bone or blood cancer, we opt for ADSC suspended in platelet rich plasma.
Yes. We contract with board certified anesthesiologists to offer our patients 'deep sedation'. Deep sedation uses much gentler medications than general anesthesia, but you are very much asleep, you don't feel anything, and you don't remember anything afterward. It is the same type of sedation used for colonoscopies or dental procedures. It is our experience that we get better outcomes when people sleep through it. As such, our prices are structured so that sedation is included in the cost of treatment; you are not required to be sedated, but you are paying for it, so why not do it?
Results vary, and unfortunately we don't help everyone. Based on our overall experience, at the one-year mark after an ADSC/BMAC treatment, some of our patients are still going strong with major improvement and do not request a second treatment at that time. Others have had mild improvement and may request a second treatment. Once we get people where they want to be, most people require tune-up treatments every two to six years. Some of our patients are “non-responders” and have no improvement at all. Factors include patient health/habits, adherence to post-treatment guidelines, and severity of the condition.
These therapies are intended to stimulate the growth and repair connective tissues. Unlike a steroid injection, there is rarely immediate pain relief. Typically, patients notice improvement after two to eight weeks and continue to notice continual improvement months after the treatment (unlike a steroid injection that typically wears off after a period of weeks or months).
After the procedure, you will have localized soreness and discomfort, especially after disc, hand, foot, and shoulder injections, and after lipoaspiration. Most patients find over-the-counter medications and rest sufficient to help with the pain. Some other clinics scrape the surface of the joint with the needle while injecting stem cells in order to cause a localized irritation. This causes a great deal of post procedure pain that can last weeks or months. We have not found this necessary to do, subsequently our treatments produce very less soreness after.
Unless you are a vampire, nothing in this life is permanent. Total joint replacement surgery is not permanent; even the latest prosthetic devices must eventually be replaced. The procedures we offer are intended to reverse tissue damage and degenerative changes and turn back the hands of time, but they do not stop the hands of time. Our overall experience has been that one year after the procedure, about half of our patients are still going strong, and half elect to undergo a second treatment. Most people require "tune-up" procedure every two to six years.
Despite the vitriolic rants of my very zealous detractors, yes, this is legal and no, we are not at risk of being shut down. Please click here to read the letter from the State of Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing stating that after two thorough investigations triggered by complaints filed by stem cell competitors, I am indeed practicing within my scope and in a lawful manner. Please click here to read a blog article I have written explaining how it came to be that as an innovator in this brand new field of naturopathic medicine, I am a natural target for criticism from a small number of stem cell MDs and "quackbusters".
About Docere Clinics
At first glance, our prices appear similar to other US clinics offering stem cell therapy. In some cases, our prices might seem higher. However, upon closer examination, we offer a far greater value. Consider these items. Most clinics offer one type of stem cell therapy (bone marrow or fat or umbilical cord or placenta). Docere Clinics offers bone marrow stem cells combined with fat stem cells combined with amniotic fluid and placental stem cell derived exosomes. Most clinics offer one type of needle guidance (ultrasound or fluoroscopy), or none at all. Docere Clinics uses either fluoroscopic needle guidance or ultrasound needle guidance for every injection (depending on which is superior for that particular injection). Most notably in regard to price, all our procedures are done under sedation provided by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Most clinics don't even offer sedation as an option; it's included in our prices.
In 1995 and while in naturopathic school, Dr. Adelson was cured of an injury with RIT/Prolotherapy by the since deceased and very much missed Rick Marinelli, N.D.. He decided from that experience that he would devote himself to Regenerative Pain Medicine. He underwent training in RIT/prolotherapy from the American Association of Orthopeadic Medicine, the American Academy of Musculoskeletal Medicine, the American Academy of Osteopathy, and from his mentors, Rick Marinelli, N.D. and Richard Bachrach, D.O.. During his years in Connecticut in 2000 – 2002, he volunteered after working hours in a large homeless shelter in Bridgeport offering RIT/Prolotherapy to its residents. In addition to providing Regenerative Pain Medicine to those living in pain that could otherwise not afford these services, this allowed him to perform several hundred RIT/Prolotherapy procedures before he opened the doors of Docere Clinics in 2002. Since that time he has treated thousands of patients and performed over ten thousand procedures.
In February of 2010, Dr. Adelson visited the clinic of orthopedic surgeon and leader in the field of clinical stem cell medicine, Joseph Purita, M.D. in Boca Raton, Florida to learn regenerative cell therapy for musculoskeletal pain conditions. Upon return to Docere Clinics, Dr. Adelson began utilizing these therapies right away and has enjoyed years of successfully helping people with these elegant and safe modalities. Dr. Adelson has also visited the clinic of cosmetic surgeon and pioneer in adipose-derived regenerative cell medicine, Robert Alexander, MD to have his lipoaspiration technique critiqued and improved.
There is only one reason why you should choose Docere Clinics. It is this: if after researching your options, you decide you want to be treated by us. We are not for everyone, and we will never 'sell' you on coming to us. In the meantime, consider this: Dr Adelson opened Docere Clinics in 2002, and since day one his practice has been 100% regenerative injection therapy procedures for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain conditions. In 2006 he began injecting PRP with ultrasound guidance. He began performing bone marrow and fat stem cell procedures in February, 2010, making him one of the very early doctors providing this therapy. Since that time, his practice has been 100% adult stem cell procedures for chronic pain conditions. It’s all he does; he doesn’t do anything else. He has performed over six thousand adult stem cell procedures with X-ray or ultrasound guidance that have produced zero serious adverse outcomes and many satisfied patients. This places him among the most experienced in the world with adult stem cell procedures for the treatment of pain.
None. We are happy to report that our overall patient satisfaction rate is very high. We grow almost entirely by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied patients. We help more people than we don’t help, but we don’t help everyone. We have found that the severity of the condition is much less of a predictor of the clinical outcome than is the overall health of the person being treated. If you’re unhealthy, it is entirely possible that your stem cells don’t function properly. We have observed that we tend to have inferior outcomes in people who are smokers, heavy drinkers, heavy narcotic users, diabetics, have uncontrolled hypertension, sleep apnea, lousy diets, and who have a negative outlook on life.
Mostly common sense: wholesome diet, regular exercise, quality sleep, fulfilling interpersonal relationships, avoidance of smoking and heavy alcohol consumption. Click here to read an article co-written by Dr. Adelson on the topic of naturopathic approaches to optimizing stem cell therapy.
Dr. Adelson is a Naturopathic Physician. After a receiving a bachelor’s degree at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, he underwent a four-year N.D. program at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. This was followed by a one year residency in Integrative Medicine at the Yale/Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut under the direction of David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H. and then an additional year as clinical faculty at University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, before opening Docere Clinics. He holds licenses to practice Naturopathic Medicine in Utah and Arizona and he is licensed with the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Utah and Arizona grant NDs broad scopes of practice and Dr. Adelson is authorized to perform the therapies described on these pages.
Click here to read a manuscript written by Dr. Adelson published in The Pain Practitioner describing his experience treating low back and lumbar disc pain with the combination of ADSC with BMAC.
Dr Adelson uses imaging for 100% of the procedures he performs; fluoroscopy (X-ray) for bone marrow aspiration and injection of joints and spine and ultrasound for soft tissues (i.e. rotator cuff, Achilles, plantar fascia, etc).
Click here to read what Paul Winterton, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and Utah representative to the Board of Councilors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, thinks of Dr. Adelson’s work.
“Dr. Adelson is one of the most talented and innovative teachers I have come across. His knowledge of anatomy and the use of regenerative cell therapy is extraordinary. I have worked and studied with him on several occasions and been grateful for his sharing his knowledge with me. He is one of the true experts on regenerative cell therapies and is at the forefront of this technology. Every time I am with him I learn something new! I believe we will all benefit from the innovative approach Dr. Adelson has toward healing the human body! I consider him one of the most gifted doctors in the United States!”
Ross A. Hauser, M.D. Medical Director, Caring Medical & Rehabilitation Services Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Prolotherapy
We apologize in advance to the engineers, we know you’re going to hate this answer. While the goal of stem cell therapy is to reduce your pain and increase your activities of daily living and quality of life, it most likely will not lead to improvements in your X-ray or MRI… and we’re OK with that. To us, success is being able to normally walk down a flight of stairs, keep up with the grandkids, or go surfing. We really don’t care about the before and after pictures.
How can stem cell therapy reduce your pain without improving your pictures? In the evaluation of pain, we consider “the subjective” and “the objective”. The subjective is the pain the person reports and the objective are “the pictures”; the diagnostic imaging such as X-ray and MRI. You would think that the two would be directly correlated; the worse the pictures, the worse the pain. But it turns out, it has been proven they are not directly correlated. What this means is how bad the pictures look, does not predict how much pain the person reports. There have been conducted large, scientific studies looking at people with no back pain, and they frequently have abnormal spine MRI’s. We see it all the time in the clinic when we X-ray knees; frequently, the one that looks like “the bad one” doesn’t hurt much, and the one that looks like “the good one” is excruciating. Just because it looks bad, doesn’t mean it’s painful and just because it looks normal, doesn’t mean there’s no pain. How is this? We can think of our bodies in terms of macro-environments and micro-environments. Macro-environment is anatomy that shows up in X-ray or MRI (bones, joints, ligaments, tendons). Micro-environment is the microscopic anatomy that cannot be seen on X-ray or MRI, such as tiny nerves, tiny blood vessels, and collagen fibers. Macro-environments are frequently not the pain generators. More often, micro-environments are the pain generators. When we inject stem cells into an area, we are treating the micro-environment by growing robust collagen and healthy blood vessels, but most often, we are not altering the gross anatomy. When macro-environments are indeed the pain generator (such as a broken bone or a massively herniated disc that causes severe nerve pain in the leg), frequently surgery is required.
Yes. More specifically, Dr. Adelson wishes to make a modest contribution to the field of regenerative pain medicine, and for that reason he himself does not offer cosmetic treatments as it might dilute his efforts. However, in response to demand from our patients and their families, we have invited Amy Killen, M.D. to offer stem cell and PRP treatments for rejuvenation of the skin, hair restoration, and sexual optimization. Please visit www.doceremedical.com for more information.