Living in chronic pain is a pain literally and figuratively. Experiencing intense pain and swelling every day without much relief makes completing tasks difficult. Additionally, you can start to believe your current situation will last forever, causing you to lose hope in treatment.

It can feel like you’re out of options if you have tried supplements, physical therapy, exercise, medication, and acupuncture. However, two final solutions could restore your pain-free life: surgery and stem cell injections.

To some, these two types of methods are considered to be on the same playing field and will produce the same results, but in reality, they are vastly different. Below are some aspects of stem cell procedures vs. surgery and how they are similar and different.


The first primary consideration you should make when deciding between surgery or stem cell therapy is to evaluate the success rates. Success in these scenarios would be whether or not patients experience remaining pain in the affected area.

Surveys show that of those who get hip or knee replacement surgery in the United States, 20% to 58% of patients still suffer from persistent pain. On the other hand, our office has found an 80% success rate for patients who have experienced pain relief from stem cell injects.

Get Back Your Normal Life Again

As pain specialists, we can guarantee that we are more than qualified in alleviating your pain and treating your condition.


Surgical procedures for pain management are highly invasive and should not be considered lightly. The patient must undergo anesthesia, be cut open, and the specialist will replace the damaged tissue with a synthetic piece. Recovery from surgery is often slow and could require extensive rehabilitation to get you back on your feet.

On the other hand, stem cell injections require an outpatient procedure without cutting you open and a hospital stay, cutting down recovery time. This difference is because regenerative medicine does not replace the problem tissues but rather restores them.


Surgery always carries risk and therefore has the possibility for extensive complications. Some patients may experience side effects from anesthesia and pain medications, or the body may reject or disagree with replacement hardware. These complications can lead to months of pain, frustration, and physical therapy.

With stem cell therapy, our office extracts them from amniotic fluid. You will experience some inflammation at the injection site and post-procedural soreness for 24 to 48 hours. The trade-off is that recovery is much quicker, and the injected area will not take weeks to feel normal again.


The cost factor for each depends on your insurance coverage. Insurance will cover necessary surgical procedures in most cases, but they will not cover stem cell therapy because it is a relatively new science.

But if cost plays a significant factor in determining your decision, it is wise to compile the exact numbers because deductibles and copayments for surgery can often be the same or higher than the out-of-pocket costs of stem cell injections.

Our office can help you explore stem cell treatments in a cost-effective way that allows you to compare them to traditional treatments. For example, if you suffer from knee pain, we can provide a steroid for one half and a stem cell shot for the other. Then, you can continue stem cell therapy if it produces better pain relief than the medication.

Future Options

One of the most crucial reasons to weigh your options carefully before deciding between stem cell therapy or surgery comes down to your future opportunities if the procedure does not bring the relief you seek. After a failed surgical procedure, it is doubtful that a second surgery will bring a solution. A specialist could not conduct stem cell therapy after surgical replacement.

If your first round of stem cell injections does not work as you had hoped, you have the option of repeating the procedure multiple times. If you do not find that stem cell therapy works for you after the first round, speak with your pain specialist. They can help you evaluate new treatment options to alleviate chronic pain.

Questions about Your Pain Management Options?

It is our goal to see you living a pain-free future. Our specialists have many practices and treatment options to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for relieving your chronic pain. They are a part of the personalized intervention plan we create for every patient that walks through our doors that’s more than just medication and physical therapy.

We have assisted hundreds of people in achieving a pain-free life and would be glad to answer your questions and discuss your situation and treatment options. Call us today at (480).986.7246 with all of your stem cell therapy vs. surgery questions.