Frequently asked questions

The most common questions we’re asked are often related to our advanced regenerative procedures, including noninvasive stem cell therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. Here, we’ve provided answers to a number of those questions.
Are stem cell or PRP injections safe?
Both of these therapies have been known and used for years; they are not new to the medical field. Long-term data, so far, shows no long-term adverse reactions. Short-term adverse reactions include discomfort, swelling and pain.
How much does PRP or stem cell therapy cost?
The price of therapy can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on your condition and the number of injections needed. During your consultation, Dr. Kim will develop a treatment plan and go over your specific costs with you.
What insurance plans do you accept?
For routine care, such as traditional sports medicine treatment, we accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. Please confirm your coverage and benefits with your insurance provider as our participation in plans changes often.

In addition, many of these insurance plans will cover the cost of your initial consultation with Dr. Kim—although PRP and stem cell therapy are not covered by any insurance plans at this point. They are still considered experimental by the insurance industry. As these therapies become more widely available, it’s likely that insurance companies will begin to provide coverage—however, that’s a long-range consideration.

Please take some time to review your coverage, including your in-network and out-of-network benefits, so that you know what charges to expect.

What are my payment options for PRP or stem cell therapy?

We accept both cash and all major credit and debit cards for these treatments. In addition, if you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, you may be able to set aside funds in this pre-tax account in order to pay for these treatments.

You may also wish to look into Care Credit, which is a credit card specifically for medical charges, copays, elective procedures and similar out-of-pocket costs. It allows you to pay these costs with zero interest over a set number of months.

Is it possible to get treatment if I live far away?

Absolutely. There are a few ways we can help.

First, we can request your prior physician, therapy and procedure notes, and your images and imaging reports, from your other healthcare providers. After reviewing them, we can conduct your initial consultation using Skype or similar technology.

Next, we can help you plan your trip to Saratoga Springs for treatment. We have partnerships with car service companies around town and to/from the Albany County Airport and the Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs Amtrak stations. We also work with well-appointed hotels where you can complete your first few days of recovery. We provide pre-procedure massage, nutritionist-developed meals specifically for you, access to a 24-hour on-call nurse and entertainment suggestions for your companion(s).

Finally, we typically see our patients four weeks after a PRP injection and both four and 12 weeks after stem cell therapy. If you are not able to come to the office for one or both of these visits, we’ll help make other arrangements for you to ensure your recovery stays on track.

How much do PRP and stem cell therapies hurt?

Most people we see who have the types of injuries best treated with PRP or stem cell injections have been in chronic pain for an extended period of time. Compared to that, the pain from these therapeutic injections is acute, but short-lived.

During the extraction and injection portions of the procedure, you’ll benefit from a strong, short-acting local anesthetic that may not eliminate all sensation from the affected sites, but will deliver a bearable level of discomfort.

However, when that anesthetic wears off, you can expect two to four days of gradually improving pain. Dr. Kim will prescribe a pain reliever for you to fill on the way home from your procedure to help you through these first few days of rest and recovery.

How long does it take to heal from a PRP or stem cell procedure?
The exterior recovery from the extraction and injection takes two weeks, concluding when the skin heals and the minimal bandages wear off. The interior recovery from these procedures takes about four weeks for PRP and about 16 weeks for stem cell therapy (with additional injections at four and 12 weeks).
Are there any conditions that can’t be treated with PRP or stem cells?

Yes—or rather, there are some conditions that cannot be treated only with PRP and stem cells. Injuries to the bone often require surgery, as do some kinds of tendon and ligament damage. Often, though, even if soft tissue injuries require surgical intervention, PRP or stem cell therapy can facilitate healing.

What we find more often is that people may benefit from addressing underlying conditions that cause inflammation throughout the body before having PRP or stem cell therapy. This may help you achieve a better outcome from these procedures. We’ve offered additional information about this on the Specialties page and Dr. Kim will discuss specific recommendations during your consultation.