I'm in the midst of trying this out. I had my second Regenexx SD about a month ago. I had the first one in mid-Feb and skied the late season (early April to early June) after that.
I would say that :
- the first round of the procedure really brought my knee inflammation down
- it was hard to identify other benefits with any confidence a few months out from the first treatment
- certainly nothing got worse, which is frankly not true for any of the conventional orthopedic procedures I've had
- the Regenexx guys are the least snake-oily of the stem-cell people I have found
- the evidence that the procedure is safe is quite good
- you are still talking a pretty experimental procedure; essentially all of the published clinical stuff is from the Regenexx guys, and while they do have some nice published results (their website links to a published case study with before and after MRIs which show clear cartilage growth, which I think no one else has ever shown for pretty much anything), it's pretty limited
- also, a lot of the results are from the "Regenexx-C" version where they multiplied the stem cells in culture before re-injecting - a procedure which our beloved "here to help" government shut down, not on the basis of any evidence of any problems, but on the basis that the procedure hadn't gone thru the full "drug certification" protocols, after they had randomly decided stem cells multiplied outside your body are "drugs", but stem cells extracted from your body and re-injected without being multiplied are not
In the end I think you are looking at an expensive procedure with almost no downside and unproven and poorly known but possibly huge upside. I think it's mostly about how much money you have and how much you value your knees to be honest.
- I heard a rumor you might be able to get the original cultured version again soon, either because they think the FDA will realize that they are going to lose in court and drop the "stem cells are a drug claim" or because they will be partnering with someone outside the US to do the re-injection of the cultured stem cells ala Bartolo Colon
- PRP might be comparable to stem cells for things like tendon healing, but for osteoarthritis there is way more evidence that stem cells might help than there is evidence that PRP might
- if you look under the hood almost nothing in orthopedics from ACL replacement to meniscectomy to microfracture really has "peer reviewed science" published to support it, so this isn't necessarily that terrible
My bottom line is:
- I decided to do it, after 1 round of treatment I opted to pay for a second and if the "C" version becomes available again then I will pay for a third round.