If you’ve ever experienced a sports-related injury or a had a flareup of osteoarthritis in a joint, you know how painful and debilitating that experience can be. When traditional pain-relieving medications, tactics, and physical therapy sessions fail to alleviate the aching, other more innovative methods may be considered. Among those is bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) therapy. This revolutionary procedure employs the body’s own cells to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing without the need for surgery.
Dr. Jerry Lewis is a board-certified medical doctor and pain specialist who has more than 28 years of experience. The founder of Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX, he is dedicated to offering patients the latest state-of-the-art treatment options so that they may put pain behind them and get back to living their best lives. Below, he expertly explains bone marrow aspirate concentrate therapy and details this regenerative procedure.
Bone marrow 101
To fully understand the benefits of BMAC therapy, it helps to learn more about the basics of bone marrow. This soft, spongy connective tissue is in the center of your bones and is responsible for producing blood cells. In fact, billions of them are created each day.
There are two types of bone marrow: red and yellow. Also tasked with removing old cells from our circulatory system, the cells contained in red marrow develop into red and white blood cells or platelets. Yellow marrow, which is found within the body’s long bones, mainly stores fat and supports bone function. In cases of severe blood loss, yellow marrow can be converted into red marrow.
The vascular section of bone marrow features blood vessels that provide nutrients to the bone. They also move mature blood cells as well as other cells away from the bone so that they can be circulated. Meanwhile, the non-vascular sections of the bone marrow are where blood cells are formed.
What is BMAC therapy?
This cutting-edge, nonsurgical treatment works to speed up the healing processes associated with a variety of orthopedic injuries, such as those that occur to tendons, as well as osteoarthritis. Similar to platelet-rich plasma, which utilizes natural growth factors produced by the body, BMAC puts to work the regenerative cells that are found in bone marrow. Different than other cells in the body, certain cells featured in bone marrow possess the capability to replicate themselves into different types of tissues.
During BMAC therapy at Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX, a small amount of these regenerative cells are removed from a patient’s own bone marrow. The cells are spun in a centrifuge to concentrate them before they are injected back into the patients in the area that has been injured. In years past, collecting these cells from the bone marrow was a challenging (and often expensive) procedure. However, recent technological advancements have made them easier to extract. In most cases, BMAC procedures are easily performed and cause patients to experience little discomfort.
Who can undergo BMAC therapy?
Most adult patients in Frisco, TX are candidates for this innovative treatment at Lewis Pain Management. However, there are some exceptions. Men and women with certain cancers such as lymphoma, other metastatic diseases, or infections should not receive the treatment. Also, patients on blood-thinning medications may need to discontinue use before their procedure. Following an examination and evaluation of your medical history, Dr. Lewis will determine whether you are well-suited to receive BMAC therapy treatments.
How is the procedure performed?
At Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX, every effort is made to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during their outpatient BMAC therapy treatment, which is performed under general anesthesia by Dr. Jerry Lewis. In most cases, the bone marrow is extracted with a needle either from the posterior hip area or the proximal tibia bone located just below the knee. Once the sample has been obtained, it is spun rapidly to separate the restorative platelets from the other cells. This collection of cells and other healing components is called bone marrow concentrate. After being processed, the fluid is safely and precisely injected into the area that is targeted for treatment. Most BMAC procedures can be completed in less than a few hours and patients may return home afterward.
What conditions can be treated?
Besides tendon injuries and osteoarthritis, BMAC therapy can be used to effectively treat a variety of conditions. These include pain, sprains, and tears in areas including the knees, hips, shoulders, wrist, and hand, as well as the foot and ankle. Even the conditions known as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow may be improved. Meanwhile, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, in which the joints of the lower spine experience improper movement resulting in leg and back pain, also can be addressed.
What type of results are expected?
Depending on the severity of their injury, most patients in Frisco, TX require only a single BMAC injection to experience relief from their symptoms. Unlike cortisone injections, which mask pain
and other symptoms, BMAC therapy targets the area where the injury occurred and works to heal and regenerate the damaged tissue.
For a few days following the procedure, swelling and discomfort may be felt in the area that was injected. These symptoms usually resolve within a week. If prescribed, physical therapy may commence or be resumed at this time. Most patients report feeling an improvement in their pain and symptoms within 2-6 weeks of their injection, as well as increased stability in the treated area. These results should continue to improve over the next three months. If they experience significant relief following their initial injection, followed by a noticeable plateau in improvement, patients may receive a second injection in the future.
If you grapple with osteoarthritis or have suffered an injury that has not responded well to traditional pain-relieving medications and treatments, it may be time to consider bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) therapy. This revolutionary procedure uses the body’s own cells to regenerate and heal damaged joints and reduce pain. Schedule an appointment with board-certified medical doctor and pain specialist Dr. Jerry Lewis of Lewis Pain Management in Frisco, TX, to learn how BMAC therapy can get you back to functioning and feeling your best.