Stem Cell Treatments: Buyers Beware!

CHICAGO (KFSN) -- You name the pain, and a stem cell clinic seems to be springing up to fix it, from knee pain to glaucoma. But some of these clinics may be too good to be true and could even be dangerous.

On a day off from filling cavities, Robert Radin was drilling drive after drive off the tee, when all of a sudden, "I was having trouble as usual with my golf swing and I was really swinging kind of hard and I felt something move in my hip and it kind of didn't feel right," explained Robert.

Robert discovered he had mild arthritis of the hip. He tried the usual physical therapy and medication, but nothing helped.

"Reading as everybody does about regenerative medicine, stem cells, I started thinking this is kind of where I think medicine is going to," said Robert.

Dr. Shane Nho says, "So there is a wide range of biologic treatments that are available right now."

Such as injected stem cells to decrease inflammation or promote healing. This has many people flocking to clinics for cures ranging from back pain to Parkinson's. In 2016, more than 570 clinics were offering stem cell treatments.

But Dr. Frank Phillips warns, "I would push them, ask them to see real results, real studies, real data rather than just trust the promise that somehow these stem cells are miraculously going to cure your back pain."

The stem cell therapies that have not been thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA could actually pose danger to patients.

Dr. Nho says there are two things you need to pay attention to, "First of all, you want to be aware of a couple of things. One is excessive advertisement. The other thing is excessive cost."

Dr. Nho cautions people to ask hard questions about costs and results early.

California leads the way with the most stem cell clinics at 113. Florida comes in second with 104 and Texas third with 71.

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