Posted byOrthoEx Posted in
Posted on Jan 16, 2018

January 16, 2018

BROOMFIELD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A significant number of opioid deaths worldwide involve patients who become addicted to prescription narcotics due to severe low back pain. Regenexx, a physician-run medical network and pioneer in the invention of orthopedic stem cell injections, has today released new research that examines a more effective alternative for treating lower back pain to bypass the harmful effects of opioids and high dose steroidsThe study, led by Regenexx founder and world-renowned leader for interventional orthopedics, Christopher J. Centeno, MD, was recently published in the 2017 Journal of Experimental Orthopedics, titled, “The Use of Lumbar Epidural Injection of Platelet Lysate for Treatment of Radicular Pain.”

Epidural steroid injections have been a mainstay of lower back treatment for decades, but the fact that they often fail to manage pain long-term has led many patients to seek relief through high dose and addictive narcotics. “Despite being the most common non-surgical procedure for sciatica and lower back pain performed in the U.S., there is limited evidence of the efficacy of epidural steroid injections (ESI),” said Christopher J. Centeno, MD, CMO of Regenexx. “Additionally, some evidence suggests that high dose use of corticosteroids may have significant side effects.”

The research’s methodology included a registry-based, case series evaluating the use of platelet lysate epidural injections for the treatment of lumbar radicular pain as an alternative to corticosteroids. Backed by MRI findings that were consistent with symptoms, 470 participants were treated with epidural injections presenting with symptoms of lumbar radicular pain (also known as sciatica). Collected outcomes included numeric pain score, functional rating index, and a modified single assessment numeric evaluation rating.

“The main advantage of platelet lysate is that it’s anabolic rather than catabolic,” said Dr. Centeno. “This means that it has growth factors that can help things heal rather than high-dose steroids that can destroy tissue by killing cells. Platelet lysate also has anti-inflammatory cytokines, like A2M, IRAP, and TIMPs.”

Following treatment with platelet lysate, patients reported significant improvements in pain and subjective improvement through their 2-year follow-up. Notably, the regenerative platelet lysate injections produced relief for longer periods than usually seen with epidural steroid injections. These findings are very encouraging to physicians who treat lower back pain, as they are now actively seeking ways to help patients without turning to narcotics.

The research team consisted of Christopher Centeno, Jason Markle, Ehren Dodson, Ian Stemper, Matter Hyzy, Christopher Williams and Michael Freeman. The full study can be found online at the Journal of Orthopedics.

About Regenexx and the Regenexx Physician Network
The Regenexx® Procedures are the nation’s most advanced non-surgical stem cell and blood platelet treatments for common joint injuries and degenerative joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis. These stem cell procedures utilize a patient’s own stem cells or blood platelets to help heal damaged tissues, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, spinal disc, or bone.

For more information on Regenexx, please visit:


Susannah Spruill, 720-577-5409