Bone Marrow Therapy: If you suffer from moderate to severe osteoarthritis or tendon injuries, Bone Marrow Concentrate Therapy could be an option for you. Bone marrow is the soft spongy tissue that is found in the center of your bones. In adults, marrow in the large bones are the producing center of your red bloods cells, white blood cells and plasma components. Bone Marrow Therapy uses a patient’s bone marrow to help aid healing.
Bone Marrow Therapy, also known as Bone Marrow Aspirate, is a promising cutting-edge regenerative therapy to help accelerate healing in moderate to severe osteoarthritis and tendon injuries.
How does BMC therapy work?
While similar to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in its ability to harness the body’s ability to heal itself through the aid of growth factors, BMC also utilizes regenerative cells that are contained within a patient’s own bone marrow. The marrow contains a rich reservoir of “pluripotent” stem cells that can be withdrawn from the patient’s hip bone and used for the procedure. Unlike other cells of the body, stem cells are “undifferentiated”, meaning they are able to replicate themselves into various types of tissue.
The process is relatively simple. The area of extraction is locally numbed so no pain is felt. Bone marrow is extracted from the back of the patient’s pelvis or hip bone from an area called the posterior iliac crest.
A suctioned syringe attached to a long needle is used to reach the posterior aspect of the hip, during the minimal discomfort is felt due to local anesthetic. The collected sample is transferred through a filter then placed in a centrifuge for spinning. Spinning at a high speed separates the platelets and stem cells from the bone marrow sample. The concentration of stem cells and healing components, collectively known as the bone marrow concentrate, are reintroduced to the injured area under ultrasound guidance.
Once introduced at the site of injury, the platelets release growth factors that tell the regenerative cells what to become, thereby initiating the regenerative response. The entire process takes approximately 2 hours and patients go home the same day.
What types of conditions are treated with BMC?
Numerous conditions can be considered for treatment with BMC. Based on current research and clinical experience, moderate to severe cases of osteoarthritis and severe tendon injuries show promising results.
What can be treated?
Knee Pain – Osteoarthritis, Meniscus Tears (Medial, Lateral), Chondromalacia Patella, Tendon Injuries (Patellar Tendonitis, Quad Tendon), Ligament sprains or tears (MCL, LCL, ACL)
Hip Pain – Osteoarthritis, Hip Labrum Tears, SI Joint Dysfunction, Piriformis Syndrome, Greater Trochanteric Bursitis, Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
Shoulder – Osteoarthritis, Rotator Cuff Tendinitis, Tendonopathy, or Partial Tears, Labrum Tear, Bicipital Tendinitis
Elbow Pain – Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow)
Wrist/Hand Pain – Osteoarthritis, DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis
Ankle & Foot Pain – Achilles Tendinitis or Partial Tears, Plantar Fasciitis, Ankle sprains/ligament injury
Spine – Facet Joint Arthropathy. Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction
How many treatments will I need?
Most patients require only a single BMC treatment depending on the degree of the injury. However, in challenging cases, if a patient experiences significant relief that plateaus, they may consider a second BMC injection months later.
How quickly can I get back to my regular routine?
For the first 2-3 days, swelling and discomfort are typical in the injected area. By the end of the first week, these symptoms usually begin to resolve and physical therapy is started to optimize BMC effects and facilitate recovery. Patients have responded to BMC treatment at varying timeframes.
Are there any contraindications (i.e. exclusion criteria) that would inhibit someone from getting BMC?
Bone marrow derived cancer (such as lymphoma), non-bone marrow derived cancer or metastatic disease (should be checked with your oncologist), and active systemic infection are all contra-indications. Blood thinning medications such as Coumadin must be discontinued and managed appropriately by your cardiologist or primary doctor prior to the procedure.
How long does it take BMC to “work”?
Most patients notice some level of improvement by 2-6 weeks following BMC. Increased stability and strength are typically reported along with the decrease in pain. A second level of benefits may be obtained between 6 weeks and 3months. Patients are encouraged to remain active with a functional rehabilitation program and strengthen surrounding muscles during this period.
This article is brought to you by Dr. Brandon Downs, of Orthopaedic Specialists, specializing in knee, hip and shoulder pain. Find Dr.Downs in Nashville, Dickson and Ashland City and online at Orthopaedicspecialists.com.