How Does Bone Marrow Concentrate Therapy Work?

How Does Bone Marrow Concentrate Therapy Work

Jag Desai, MD Blog

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Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) therapy, or bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) therapy, is a cutting-edge treatment that helps accelerate healing and improve regeneration for those suffering for osteoarthritis or tendon tears. We are often asked how does BMC therapy work by various of our patients. Read more below to learn more about the therapy and how it works. 

What is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is the elastic, sponge-like tissue that can be found in the middle of bones. Bone marrow inside your larger bones are where red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma are all produced. Because this is where these cells are created for adults, forms of these cells that are not yet ready to be sent out into the bloodstream can be found here, and they are known as stem cells.

The Ins and Outs of BMC Therapy

Bone marrow concentrate therapy works nearly the same as platelet rich plasma (PRP) procedures. Just like PRP, BMC therapy is a part of non-surgical orthopedics and also uses the body’s regenerative abilities and growth factors to aid in healing and restoration. Stem cells contained within a person’s bone marrow are withdrawn, typically from a hip bone, for use in the treatment. Unlike other developed cells in your body, stem cells are not yet adapted to one particular area, meaning they can be used to replicate any type of tissue that is needed for a procedure.

In BMC therapy, your doctor will remove a small portion of your bone marrow and spin it in a centrifuge to produce a concentrate of cells that are then injected into the affected area. While these cells were difficult and costly to obtain in the past, recent medical advancements have made BMC therapy much easier, less invasive, and more affordable than ever before. Typically, BMC therapy can be performed in a single office visit and requires little to no downtime.

Is BMC Therapy Painful?

As with any procedure, there may be some slight discomfort. However, most patients who undergo BMC therapy report minimal pain. Local anesthetic is generally administered prior to the procedure to make the treatment go as smoothly as possible. Some soreness or inflammation at the injection site after the procedure is common, as your body becomes accustomed to the additional cells. These symptoms typically go away on their own after a few days. You should avoid over-the-counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin after treatment, as they may block healing. Pain relievers that do not target inflammation, such as Tylenol, can still be used.

What Areas of the Body Can Be Treated by BMC Therapy?

A number of areas in the human body can be treated through BMC therapy, although its primary purpose is combating osteoarthritis or tears in ligaments and tendons. Some areas of concern that BMC therapy can be effective at include:

  • Knees
  • Hip
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Ankles 
  • Feet
  • Spine

How Many Treatments Are Needed?

Because BMC therapy attempts to address the root problems of injuries by healing degenerated or damaged tissue rather than simply masking or concealing pain, in most cases only one treatment is needed. In rare instances, if pain returns weeks or months later, a second injection may be needed. Typically, pain and swelling associated with BMC treatment peaks after two to three days, and will begin to subside around one week after treatment. Many patients notice improvement of their conditions around two to three weeks after their injection.

For more information about BMC therapy and other treatments offered at CORE Medical & Wellness, please click here.

Ready to Get Started?

If you believe you might be a good candidate for bone marrow concentrate therapy or would like more information, call CORE Medical & Wellness at 888-521-0688 or contact us online to set up your appointment.

Dr. Jag Desai, M.D. is double board certified in anesthesiology and interventional pain medicine. He specializes in preventing and treating degenerative processes that can lead to conditions such as: back pain, musculoskeletal pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), minimally invasive spine procedures, and muscle spasticity. Read his full bio here.