The first time I got invited to the Vatican to speak on orthopedic adult stem cells, I took my mom and my son. For some reason, my mom was fascinated by the street vendors hawking Gucci, YSL, and Fendi purses for $30. Perhaps it was because in Rome, just across town, the real deal was selling for $3,000, or maybe just because from the point of view of a quick glance, nobody could tell her the fake Guccis weren’t the real deal. It occurred to me this morning that this was a great way to answer the question “Why is Regenexx different?” and explain the differences between Regenexx and the copycat orthopedic stem cell procedures being offered by physicians.
My mom loved these street vendors, so much so that after an hour or two of looking at hundreds of handbags and tens of vendors who all seemed to be selling the same thing, she still couldn’t make up her mind about which bag she wanted, which was my own form of Catholic penance. I would have to say that their bags were pretty amazing copies of the real deal, and the good fun was that 99% of the people buying them knew they weren’t real designer bags like those sold on the Via Condotti. They knew they were buying a fake and that for their $30, they would get a week’s worth of use out of their purchase because at some point the iconic “brass” Gucci “G” would likely fall off or one of the straps would fall apart. The problem we’re seeing with patients who are signing up for Regenxx copycat procedures is that most of them don’t know they’re getting an inferior service. Let me explain.
A gentleman just posted on one of our blogs about the fact that he’d had several PRP injections and a bone marrow stem cell procedure and was still having swelling in his knee. Given the state of the hundreds of physicians who are offering copycat procedures of Regenexx, my first question was whether he was treated at a Regenexx clinic. Sure enough, not only was he not treated by us, but the hospital where he was treated was bold enough to use a news story about our Pittsburgh providers to introduce what they were newly offering. So while I hate to compare a regional hospital to a Roman street vendor of fake Gucci purses, it’s really the same phenomenon, only a bit worse because the consumer doesn’t really know what the differences are between Regenexx and what they’re actually buying.
Why is Regenexx different? Here are the main differences:
While I can’t guarantee that we could have helped this gentleman’s knee stop swelling, I can say that after having more experience in injecting stem cells into knees than any other human being on this side of the Atlantic, everything about the real Regenexx procedure would have maximized his chances of success.
The upshot? Unlike the fake Gucci vendors in Rome and their buyers who knowingly suspend disbelief for a week that they have actually purchased a real Gucci bag, most patients getting a copycat stem cell procedure these days don’t know that they’re getting a fake version of the Regenexx procedure. While there are some good providers out there who aren’t part of our network, who are trying hard to do this all at a high level, who I would recommend, I can’t recommend most providers who took a weekend course and bought a cute little bedside machine. So don’t be surprised if you buy a copycat and it falls apart after a week; like I had to tell my mom, “What did you expect for $30?”
About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…