Bone marrow is a soft, fatty substance found in the interior of the bones, containing a dense concentration of stem cells used in regenerative medicine. Red bone marrow produces blood cells and platelets. Yellow bone marrow produces fatty tissue. Lymphocytes, important to the body’s immune system, are also produced in bone marrow.
What is Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC)?
BMC is a biologic treatment that is derived from your own bone marrow. It contains a variety of bioactive cells such as M2 macrophages and progenitor cells such as mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, a very high concentration of growth factors, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and many other proteins are within BMC and can promote a healing cascade and also provide significant long-term anti-inflammatory relief. It can be used to stimulate healing for soft tissue injuries involving tendons, ligaments and muscles. It can also be used for joint injuries including labrum and meniscus tears.
The properties of BMC have been extensively studied while the clinical literature continues to grow. There has been a growing interest in stem cell treatments as anecdotal evidence and case reports have shown significant improvements especially with chronic joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and chondromalacia.
What conditions can BMC treat?
- Help regenerate areas of bone fractures that have not grown back together.
- Help repair cartilage.
- Improve the healing of wounds and tendons.
- Impede the progression of certain diseases, such as arthritis.
What can I expect on the day of the procedure?
Expect to be in clinic for around one to one and a half hours. Paperwork will need to be completed prior to your injection. The procedure will take place in the clinic in a procedure room. A local anesthetic will be administered at the site to numb the area and after the bone marrow aspiration is performed, a bandage will be applied. The bone marrow will be processed immediately afterwards. The BMC will be administered the same day via injection to the affected area using ultrasound guidance in the clinic. Depending on your injury, an orthosis may be administered followed by any prescriptions including physical therapy. A follow-up appointment will be made at this time as well.
What can I expect after my procedure?
BMC can stimulate a healing response and the first phase of healing involves inflammation. As a result, BMC may initially cause stiffness and mild swelling that can potentially last up to one week. Anti-inflammatory medications are discouraged for up to two weeks after the procedure to allow for an adequate natural inflammatory response. Ice, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and pain medications can be used if necessary. Excessive high exertion activity involving the injured body part and flying is discouraged during the first week. Physical therapy can begin one week after the injection. The bone marrow aspiration site may feel like a bruise for several days and will need approximately one week for complete healing. A waterproof dressing will be provided but still avoid pools, hot tubs and baths during this time period. Showers are allowed.
How long does it take to see any results?
BMC injections may begin relieving pain as early as several weeks after the injection but typically it may take up to eight to twelve weeks before there is a noticeable effect. A decrease in pain does not necessarily mean the injury is completely healed as BMC has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It is recommended that you adhere to the rehabilitation protocol and follow-up appointments as prescribed.
Is BMC covered by my insurance?
Medical insurance does not reimburse for BMC. This is not billed to your insurance and a cash payment will be necessary prior to your procedure.