Surgeon getting an aspirate of the bone marrow in the operating room

Bone Marrow Aspiration Injection: Understanding the Procedure and Its Benefits

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Bone marrow is a spongy tissue located inside your bones – it’s crucial for your health because it produces blood cells. Bone marrow aspiration injection can be used to treat various conditions, and it’s especially useful in orthopedics. We’ve talked about the use of this injection and its benefits in this article, so be sure to keep reading.

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy uses stem cells to treat a variety of diseases. Since stem cells are the body’s master cells from which all types of cells are made, stem cell therapy can basically be used to promote the repair of damaged tissues or those affected by certain diseases. This kind of treatment is otherwise known as regenerative medicine, and a lot of medical professionals believe that this is the future of organ transplants. 

But where do we find these precious stem cells? They are located in a few places in your body, but doctors commonly use stem cells from bone marrow. To do that, they have to get an aspirate of the bone marrow. This is done via a simple procedure when the bone marrow is harvested from the iliac crest (the bone that forms the hip) with a needle. After that, the aspirate is concentrated in the centrifuge, and the final product is called BMAC – bone marrow aspirate concentrate. This substance resembles PRP but contains stem cells which PRP doesn’t. 

How Are Stem Cells Used in Orthopedics?

When doctors take an aspirate of the bone marrow, they have harvested mesenchymal stem cells, which can be manipulated into becoming various types of cells that are found in the musculoskeletal system. That’s what makes the bone marrow concentrate valuable for treating orthopedic conditions. 

Who Is a Good Candidate?

If you’re dealing with chronic pain caused by an orthopedic condition, you might be a good candidate for a bone marrow aspiration injection. Of course, some chronic conditions can be treated surgically as well, but if you’re not happy with the idea of having surgery or your surgery hasn’t provided desired improvements, you should discuss BMAC treatment with your doctor to see if this would be the right fit for you. 

What Is Bone Marrow Aspiration Injection Used For?

As we’ve mentioned, bone marrow aspiration injection can treat many conditions. It’s commonly used for treating osteoarthritis, the disease that affects joints – BMAC can slow down the progression of arthritis. This aspirate can help fasten the recovery after bone fractures and osteonecrosis (death of the bone tissue). Lastly, BMAC is of great value when treating injuries to the musculoskeletal system because it improves healing, whether the damage is located on the cartilage, tendons, or ligaments. 

What Is the Procedure Like?

When the centrifuge makes the concentrate of the bone marrow aspirate, it’s put into a sterile syringe. After cleaning the spot where the injection will be given, your doctor will inject the BMAC. This is usually done with ultrasound guidance, so your doctor can precisely inject the areas that need treatment. The procedure can take up to two hours, depending on how extensive the damage to your tissue is. Some patients may require more than one injection – your doctor will decide that based on your condition. 

Doctor giving an injection to the patient's ankle

When Are the Results Visible, and What Is the Recovery Like?

You will start to notice improvements soon after BMAC treatment – most patients report that their pain starts to decrease after two to six weeks, but it can be sooner than that as well. When your procedure is done, you will be able to go home immediately, but you’ll have to rest and avoid physical activity for a few days. If the injection site is painful, the patients can apply ice packs and elevate the leg to decrease the swelling. There should be a follow-up appointment so your doctor can keep track of the progress. 

What Are the Benefits of the Injection?

Bone marrow aspirate injection comes with numerous benefits, the most important one being relieving chronic pain in patients with musculoskeletal conditions. The inflammation will be reduced, and the healing of the damaged tissue will be sped up. The great thing about this kind of treatment is that it’s safe and minimally invasive – the patient doesn’t experience as much discomfort as they would if they were to have surgery. 

Discuss Bone Marrow Aspiration Injection With Your Surgeon in Miami

Are you interested in learning more about bone marrow aspiration injection and its benefits for chronic musculoskeletal conditions? If you’re considering this treatment option, reach out to a skilled and knowledgeable doctor who can answer all your questions on this topic. Luxe Foot Surgery clinic can help you – we’ve got many great doctors, and we would be happy to help with your healing journey. Contact us, and we will provide you with an appointment for your first consultation. 

FAQ

What Is Bone Marrow Aspirate Injection?

Bone marrow aspirate injection is the type of treatment where the doctor injects bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) into the area of damaged or injured tissue. BMAC can be used for treating various diseases, but it’s commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions. 

Why Would You Need a Bone Marrow Injection?

Bone marrow injection consists of concentrated aspirate of the patient’s own bone marrow. It’s most commonly used for treating joint, bone, and muscle injuries or damages. This injection helps with chronic pain and inflammation. 

Do Bone Marrow Injections Hurt?

Bone marrow injections are usually not painful – in most cases, the patient gets local anesthesia before the doctor injects BMAC into the area that requires treatment. When the anesthesia wears off, however, there may be slight discomfort at the injection site. Patients are recommended to put on ice packs to help with the pain and swelling in the first days after treatment. 

References 

  1. Summit Orthopedics – Stem Cell Injections – Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC). [Internet]. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.summitortho.com/services-2/regenerative-medicine/bone-marrow-aspirate-concentrate-bmac-injections-stem-cell/
  2. Lynch JL. Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) Treatment. [Internet]. Sports Surgery Specialist. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.sportssurgeryspecialist.com/bone-marrow-aspirate-concentrate-sports-medicine-surgeon-san-antonio-tx.html
  3. Slover JD. Bone Marrow Aspirate Injections. [Internet]. New York Hip & Knee Surgeon. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.newyorkhipkneesurgeon.com/bone-marrow-aspirate-injections-orthopedic-surgery-new-york.html

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