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Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) is a promising, non-surgical regenerative treatment for various orthopedic injuries, including mild to moderate osteoarthritis, disc degeneration and soft tissue injuries. This therapy uses concentrated stem cells that are harvested from your own bone marrow to help the body heal itself. These cells, when injected directly into an injury site, prompt a rapid and efficient restoration of the tissue, returning it to a more healthy state by stimulating the body’s natural healing response.

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is responsible for regenerating and rebuilding tissues and organs. These cells play a critical role in the body’s natural healing process. When the body is injured, stem cells mobilize to the injury site to help it heal. With injuries or areas of degeneration that may be caused by aging or wear and tear, there may not be enough stem cells present for optimal healing. BMAC helps to overcome this problem by directly supplying stems cells to the injured or degenerated area through an injection of concentrated stem cells. When these cells are introduced to the injured area, they initiate the body’s natural healing process, generating new, stronger tissue.

The stem cells are harvested from your own bone marrow by a board-certified radiologist with advanced training in this procedure. The site of extraction is locally numbed to minimize discomfort. Bone marrow is removed via needle aspiration from the back of your pelvis from an area called the iliac crest.

The sample is placed in a centrifuge, which separates the platelets and the stem cells from the other components in order to generate a powerful concentrate to promote healing.

The concentration of stem cells and healing components, collectively known as bone marrow concentrate, is introduced into the injured area using imaging guidance to ensure proper placement.

Immediately following the injection, the stem cells cause a release of cellular growth factors that trigger the body’s healing response and rejuvenate the diseased cells. They also exchange RNA with the abnormal cells to restore their vitality, and differentiate into cells required for repair of the ambient tissue. You may experience inflammation and soreness as the body’s healing process begins. In fact, there may be no symptom relief for a period of four to eight weeks. You will want to treat the injected area with care, like you would with a new injury, and avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on the area that is injured, crutches or a sling may be recommended for a short time to minimize the use of the area as healing begins.

In the months that follow, new tissue will begin to develop. As this tissue matures, it causes tightening and strengthening of the tendons, ligaments and muscles of the injury site. In joints or discs, decreased inflammation and formation of new cartilage or disc material contributes to the healing process.

  • The entire process takes approximately 90 minutes to collect, concentrate and inject into an injury site and you will go home the same day. 
  • You will need someone to drive you home following the procedure.
  • You may experience an “achy” soreness at the site of the injury in the hours and days following the injection. The effect can last for several days, gradually decreasing as healing and tissue repair occurs.
  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, Naproxen and aspirin, for 2 weeks prior to the procedure and 3 months post procedure. These medications can block the intended healing response facilitated by the postinjection inflammation.
  • Do not take any oral or injected steroids for 8 weeks prior to and 3 months post injection.
  • Avoid icing the treated area for 2 weeks.
  • If you have an active infection and are taking antibiotics, the procedure should be postponed until the infection is treated.
  • To maximize the healing process, no strenuous activity is advised for 2 weeks following your procedure. Activity may be increased as tolerated.
  • Following this period of rest, you may resume normal day-to-day activities and light exercise.
  • A physical therapy program will enhance the success of the treatment.
  • Most patients begin noticing improvement 4 to 8 weeks following the procedure. Increased stability and strength are typically reported along with a decrease in pain.
  • You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment after your procedure. We will discuss the specifics of your follow up with you.
  • Most patients require only a single treatment, depending on the degree of injury. However, in challenging cases, if you experience significant relief that plateaus, a second injection may be indicated.
  • Payment for your procedure is due in full at the time of service. Regenerative medicine procedures are not covered by insurance and do not count toward your deductible. Some health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts may cover the cost of the procedures – check with your HSA or HRA administrator to learn more about your specific plan allowances.

Research and clinical data show that bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections using a patient’s own biologic material are extremely safe. There is minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because the stem cells are harvested from your own bone marrow, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare.

Is a bone marrow aspirate concentrate injection right for you?

Call us to schedule a consultation and learn whether this service is right for you.


Learn about the subspecialized radiologists who will be performing bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections: