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On September 2, 2015, a highly syndicated USA Today article appeared that was critical of NFL stem-cell treatments and the athletes who seek these cures. The article leaves one with the impression that stem cells used to treat orthopedic problems are some sort of snake oil.

The USA Today article on athlete stem-cell treatments highlighted a few doctors who have one thing in common—they have not produced a shred of scientific evidence that what they offer athletes is helpful in any way. Dr. Victor in Manhattan and Dr. Purita in Florida, who were featured in the article, began doing this work about five and six years respectively after Regenexx doctors began it in 2005. In that time, neither has published any of their results, confirmed by a recent search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that disclosed they have not been associated with a single case study, small case series, large case series, comparison trial, or randomized controlled trial. In fact, none of the doctors mentioned in the article has published a single patient result. During the same time, Regenexx results have been responsible for data on 28 percent of all the stem-cell patients published in peer-reviewed medical literature.

The USA Today article shows only one side of the story, focusing on doctors and clinics who have published nothing on what they do and are being positioned as modern snake-oil salesmen. The other side of the story concerns doctors who have worked hard on research and whose focus is on publishing the positive results of what they do.

“NFL Stem-Cell Treatments” first appeared as a post on the Regenexx blog.