Stem cell therapy cost: if you got a treatment, how much did you pay?

stem cell therapy cost

stem cell therapy costStem cell therapy cost is a moving target.

A lot depends on the circumstances. Did you get the therapy at a university or major medical center or like most people these days at a stem cell clinic? Did insurance pay any of the cost and if so, how much? If not, how did you get the needed funding?

I’d like to ask you readers, if you have had a stem cell therapy of any kind, how much did you pay?

Please let me know here.

There are two ways to answer. You can use our survey poll or you can say in the comments. In the poll, please choose the answer (range) that is closest to the amount you paid in US dollars.

I also have a second poll asking where you got the therapy. Please do both.

For more background on stem cell therapy cost you can see these past posts I did on the topic: a post on cost of therapies from hospitals and universities, versus cost at stem cell clinics.

Please also feel free to weigh in with a comment regarding whether you felt the cost was reasonable.

Another interesting element to this topic is how different places decide what to charge. For instance, in traditional clinic trials patients generally are not charged anything for the participation itself, but may have to pay smaller associated costs to the trial and other costs such as travel and lodging, often times in a city away from home so hotels, eating out, etc. are involved. Still costs can add up even if they often do not go to the entity running the trial.

At for-profit clinics, by their very nature, those running the show want to make money and as much money as possible from providing stem cell therapy. How do they decide what to charge? With so many clinics out there these days, in dozens of metro areas there are numerous clinics around so there isn’t really a monopoly situation and competition plays a role. If one has a clinic and there’s another clinic within a half-hour’s drive with both offering fat stem cells for arthritis, if you are charging way more than them, you are going to lose business.

For patients, from a consumer perspective, how much is reasonable to pay for an unproven stem cell therapy? Can you ask clinics for a discount from the price they initially mention? Probably. I’ve heard of clinics having coupons these days as well, which somehow seems odd to me for a medical treatment. One Bay Area ad that I posted about had such  coupon. What a money-back guarantee from a stem cell clinic? Never seen that.

The money side of the commercial stem cell world is important on many levels.


  1. Your poll does not exactly meet my needs so here is my story: In December of 2016 I have my severely arthritic right knee injected. I had torn the ACL 30 years ago and now am bone on bone. I paid $4000 at a stem cell clinic/physical therapy outfit. On day TWO the reduction of inflammation was 75%. 9 months later it is still dramatically better than it had been. It is permanently swollen, but I can walk pretty comfortably. In January 2017 I partially tore my left quad tendon. The projected healing time was 6-8 months. I had stem cell injected into that tendon about a week later. This time, the injection was done by my orthopedist and he charged $1050. Insurance paid for the MRI but not the treatment. On week 3 I drove 150 miles to a horse show and spent 3 days judging the show. I was able to walk without crutches or cane, over rough terrain. I iced it at night. On week 5, I flew cross country from LA to Orlando, then drove 90 miles to Ocala. I walked 2 + miles per day over rough terrain judging another horse show. This injection made it possible!

    • Glad you had good results, I am in a similar situation. Torn acl 2x in the early 90s, multiple scope/meniscus repairs. Not an ideal canvas for stem cells…but, did the major brand name treatment with bone marrow cells, 3 day treatment, and bone augmentation (additional $1k) total cost $7500. I also have swelling in my knee still, but, just had the knee drained at 4 months and am still seeing slow progress. My knee does not “catch” like it used to and has huge improvements in range of motion. Is it 20 years old again? NO, but i have no doubt this procedure made huge improvements to my knee, and i am only 4 months in. This has alot to do with following the protocol too. NO NSAIDS, No alcohol,(at least for a couple months) and taking the supplimients they give you. Its not cheap, but i would do it again in the coming years to avoid a knee replacement without hesitation.

  2. I had a fat graft stem cell placed into my shoulder that was bone on bone 5 months ago at a cost of $3500.00 and today there has been no change in my pain. It was a waste of time and money.

  3. Cost for stem cell treatment was/is $5,000. Insurance does not pay for experimental therapies, no matter what they are, stem cell or otherwise. If you use Schedule-A itemized deductions, you can deduct everything but meals for experimental therapy. I have stage-IV SLE and have had multiple stem cell treatments. I started treatments when I was diagnosed (by Rheumatologist) as two-week terminal. I am still alive with reasonable quality of life.

    • Edward, what type of stem cells did they use? Fat graft, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood?
      Thank you.

  4. Couldn’t find correct Blog for people who have had treatment, but this is my story:

    I have long standing (19 yrs) chemical induced Arachnoiditis (steroid+procaine epidural), with multiple symptoms, internal bowel damage, constant muscle cramps everywhere, which have caused tightened chest wall, shoulder, neck, throat & head/face muscles – hideous !!

    Earlier this year I read about a Dr who had successfully cured a woman who had been paralysed by Arachnoiditis, so with great hope & determination travelled from UK to America and had adipose stem cells removed from my abdomen, processed and returned to my body via injection and IV.

    Since returning home my symptoms & pain have been exacerbated. It’s been 7 months since treatment and would have thought, if the stem cells were working, I should have felt some benefit – less cramps, some improvement in muscle tone… something. I have been advised it’s a prolonged flare-up, but the stem cells work for 2 years, so there is still time for improvement.

    I tried to research this exacerbation phenomenon and wondered if I had “Graft Stem Cell Versus Host Disease” ??
    Treatment would be anti-inflammatory drugs like oral steroids. As I have no consultant to hand, I decided to increase my ‘natural anti-inflamatory’ supplement of PEA – Palmitoylethanolmide to 800mg twice a day = 1600mg.

    My meds are:
    Pregabalin for pain
    Lorazepam for muscle cramps
    Thyroxine for slightly underworking thyroid
    Vit D & Multivitamins

    Any advice or feedback would be welcome, thank you !!

    • Amy, Do not know where you went for stems…also are you on any of the Arachnoiditis groups with facebook. There we can talk about who the doc is…My husband used on in Scottsdale,AZ… and it has worked for his Arachnoiditis.

  5. Hi
    I have psoriatic arthritis, just turned 50 years old with three children under 10 years old. It’s slowly deforming and taking the mobility from my hands feet wrists knees and elbows.
    I’m so worried and would like to know if anyone has tried stem cell for hands and fingers please?

  6. My left ankle has severe arthritis due to an old , mistreated injury. I had stem cells injected into it about 3 years ago. The stem cells were harvested from my hip bone. This was done in a University hospital as outpatient. There were two follow up PRP injections. It took over a year, but I know that there has been inprovement in my ankle in terms of overall pain and I even gained some movement. I can now do most daily tasks without the grating pain i had before. I am checking on having another one to see if that would aid my progress.

  7. I’ve had my right hip replaced three years ago and my left hip was showing the same arthritic degenerative symptom in April 2017. My right knee required a meniscectomy in October 2016 and the results showed only a little improvement. I had stem cell therapy on my left hip and right knee on May 27, 2017. For a cost of $13,000, I had injections of stem cells from the pelvis, fat tissue and umbilical cord tissue and an injection of PRP in both joints. As of now, the joints are moderately better with some improvement in mobility, strength and pain relief. It is not good enough to perform athletically at my two sports: softball and skiing. I am a gym rat and work hard to stay competitive in the sports i love at 65 years old. I followed the post procedure guidelines and 12 sessions of PT. I am skiing and playing softball but my abilities have declined significantly this past year. .I don’t want to have a knee replacement and my left hip replaced and am discouraged if there is another step with stem cell therapy will be helpful.

    • John, My doctor told me that he does not do surgery to a knee that is already arthritic as it only progresses the arthritis faster. Another thought is to Google “Why Your Stem Cell Therapy Didn’t Work” and see what you think of that article. I read it and wondered if I should do it again by another facility using stem cells from bone marrow instead of fat and also doing the other treatment they recommend. On the other hand I am tired of being in pain and not being able to do the activities that I want to enjoy and spending all my savings on therapies that don’t work yet some of these industries seem like they are capitalizing on our pain by their false advertising methods with the truth in that fine print no
      one reads!

  8. I’d recommend listening to a Joe Rogan podcast with Mel Gibson and Dr. Neil Riordan (#1066)…

  9. I am looking for a stem cell therapy treatment for my stage 3 kidney failure. But i have researched on a net and found lot of people who has done this kind of treatment. and talk on the you tube. , but I didn’t found correct answer to go further . I Would like to find a true clinic or a Dr who would do the stem cell therapy. Any suggestion
    would be Highly appreciated. Thank you…Dona

  10. I’m 45 and have had 3 back surgeries starting back in January 1999. I had 2 micros 1 in 99 and 2nd in 2008. 3rd was a fusion of L4-S1. This last April I was cleaning snow from driveway and ruptured L3-4. Tried PT for few weeks then shots which none have ever been successful but just kept getting worse. My doc recommended me to get Stem Cell injection. He said i was a perfect candidate to regenerate the disk. He says insurance doesn’t cover and it would cost me $6000.00 and we don’t take payments. Only alternative is fusion the rest of lumbar. Well I had never heard of having this done cause it is still experimental. I didn’t have 6 grand to give him and he gave me a few weeks to think about it. So 1 week passed and my phone is ringing about 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. Doc calls me at home and says he wants to do the Stem Cell injection Tuesday morning and it was paid for by donations.
    Well during this week of before the procedure I was trying to find information on the web and there isn’t enough for anyone to ever make a decision on if this is the right course or not. Only success stories are on medical blogs and little to none of unsuccessful stories. Pretty sure medical blogs delete any bad PR stuff.
    So I did it. It has been 2 weeks since the procedure and I am off and on miserable. I haven’t been back to work since April. I am the dark still on how long to heal, how long before pain in back and both legs go away? I am afraid that my doc swayed me to be his test subject.

  11. i had Stem Cell Therapy in Lincoln, NE 1 year ago, April 2018. It was where they took fat cells from the stomach for harvesting the stem cells. I also paid for 3 extra PRP injections after the 3 included PRP injections. The last PRP injection did not make a difference. It cost me $7,600 for both knees plus $200 per PRP injection every other month. My right knee was the worst as doesn’t bother me except I can feel a little pain if I turn just right. My left knee the pain has gotten worse to the point where I am considering a Cortisone Shot to get me by before a knee replacement. I didn’t want an artificial knee as I am pretty active but there comes a time when you can’t stand the pain any more.

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