T Nation

Stem Cell or PRP Therapy?


I think I might have a minor labral tear in my hip. Really messing up my quality of life. I’ve stopped hiking, playing softball, running, volleyball, and I’ve had to work from home. Anyone ever had this done for one of their joints? Did it help you? Just curious, especially interested if you had it done for a labrum (hip or shoulder).

  • Have you been diagnosed by a medical professional? What are their recommendations?

  • What have you done to manage your symptoms so far?

  • Have you tried physical therapy?

  • How long has it been? >6 weeks? Getting worse/not improving?
    If affirmative, surgery is probably your best option.

If you look at a stem cell or PRP promoting website you’ll get all kinds of publication bias, being bombarded with countless success stories. At the bottom there’ll invariably be a disclaimer along the lines of like all medical procedures there’s a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

These treatments show promise but it’s early goings with their use and evidence/research is still being put together. Your doctor or surgeon should best be able to give you an up to date recommendation regarding these procedures.


I’m merely curious. Yes I’ve had x-rays and seen by a doctor, and been undergoing physical therapy for several weeks now, which has helped a lot but I’m experiencing diminishing returns (and still wouldn’t dare to go running, hiking, play volleyball, softball, squat, deadlift, etc). I’ve had the condition for months and taken lots of NSAIDS. I have no intentions of doing this without a solid diagnosis, I’ve been seeking an MRI for months and still trying to get it. I’m not planning on having this done at least until I get one.

I’m aware of the bias that’s why I’m asking real world people here. I have read some forum posts from people who could afford this treatment and they have all been extremely promising, but I find first hand accounts to be lacking in quantity and I’d like to hear more.

Just wanna hear people’s stories.


I had 23 joints treated with expanded mesenchymal stem cells and PRP at the world’s premier orthopedic stem cell clinic in the Cayman Islands. This was for arthritis, not a labral tear. The results were dramatic. My treated shoulder was the best responding site; it feels like I grew a new joint.

You need to look into getting a Regenexx procedure—Regenexx-affiliated clinics are the ONLY ones you should work with for stem cells and PRP.


Any lessons learned? Why did you have to go to the Cayman’s? Any of your joints not respond well?

How much did all that cost you? Did insurance chip in?

Did you need prior MRI/X-rays/CT scans/etc before they could perform the operation?


I went to the Cayman Islands because the FDA has made it impossible to get culture-expanded stem cells in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. The only stem cell procedures available in the US are “same day” procedures, which don’t yield enough cells for my purposes. Since you only need to treat one site, I believe your case would differ and that you would be a good candidate for a same-day procedure.

It cost a lot. I’d rather not say how much. Tens of thousands of dollars plus thousands more in travel expenses. My high costs were a result of the fact that I had so many joints treated; for most people treating only a single site or two, the costs are lower. Same-day procedures also cost significantly less. However; virtually no insurances cover stem cell procedures at this time.

Any credible clinic offering stem cell procedures will require imaging of your condition. I submitted a bone scan and several MRIs (the latter is more customary).

The biggest lesson gleaned is that post-procedure activity restrictions matter a lot. Do not attempt to return to aggressive training quickly after a stem cell procedure regardless of what the clinic treating you says. Give it at least 3-4 months before you ramp the intensity up any higher than rehab levels, and then take it slow. Venturing a too-quick return to hard weight training may compromise the result.


Great stuff man! I’m glad you at least got a solid return on your investment. There’s nothing like having healthy joints and there’s no amount of money that’s too costly so you can do the basic things we all take for granted in life.


Most doctors have never reviewed the literature on PRP and stem cell procedures and are blatantly biased against them just because they were not taught to do them in their own training, and the procedures did not emerge through the kinds of channels they rely on to tell them what to do. Many are zealous to discredit these newer, better techniques because they feel threatened by them. Orthodox musculoskeletal medicine is really pathetic and most doctors have no skills to meaningfully treat anything wrong with your bones, joints, tendons, or ligaments.


I’ve heard countless stories about how most of the lucky people who got joint surgery never were able to return to doing many of the things they were able to do before. Lifters could never lift heavy again. There were some exceptions, but most it seemed couldn’t. And these are the LUCKY ones. And the ones extremely lucky to find the best doctors in the world after getting a perfect diagnosis (which in and of itself is very difficult to get), even most of them would never return to be 100%.

The unlucky ones not only paid a fortune for their surgery but were actually WORSE because of it, and there are many accounts of this. They are spending their life savings on pain killers and PT to alleviate pain and can’t do much of anything anymore. It seems only a fraction of doctors are actually competent enough to perform a surgical procedure that could even be mildly beneficial.

What’s scary is how willing doctors are to remove joint tissue or cut away muscle fibers to make their operations easier.

Any procedure that allows you to keep your precious tissue and doesn’t have a high risk of making my condition worse sounds like a home run to me.


Before you spend silly money on PRP or whatever, I urge you to research BPC-157. Miraculous at repairing injuries (though I’ve not personally heard results as applied to labral tears yet) and a LOT cheaper.

Lots of studies (human and animal) to read on pubmed.


Do you have personal exp with it? I can’t find much info on it online.
Apparently effective on rats but not much info on people. I don’t know if I
can trust something with such scant information available.


Interesting…because I was like ‘wow, this peptide has some nice evidence behind it’. Just different perspectives I guess.

I have LOTS of personal experience with it…as have my therapist friends. I’m not going to mislead you; I own a reputable peptide company, because I am so impressed by peptides.


You may be right and there is promise but can’t find any examples of people injecting it into joints. And injecting it into my labrum sounds dangerous especially since I dont know where it’s located exactly.

That said i do suffer from rotator cuff tendonitis and shoulder impingement so maybe it could help with that?


LOL I’m not suggesting that one should inject into their labrum…for several reasons…locational accuracy being one of them.

Remember that a ‘joint’ is actually a space…a ‘non-tissue’ if you will. It is the tissues that lie immediately next to that ‘non-tissue’ that we must heal. But they are usually deep and layered and the very last thing we want to do is cause more harm by dicking about with a sharp needle lol.

The closer you can inject to the area in question, the more BPC will reach the area. However it’s not essential.


I just got an MRI arthrogram diagnosis of a moderate hip labral tear. Doc said 100% stay away from stem cell or PRP shots, only thing to do is arthroscopic surgery. He said he himself administers PRP and said he didn’t think it would do any good here. He said it helps in other situations. So I’m kind of leaning toward surgery. The good news is insurance would pay for it and I’ve met my deductible, so I’d only be paying 20% for the surgery.


I recommend reading some of these blogs and watching the videos