An Overview of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate, or BMAC, is a regenerative medicine technique growing in popularity in the Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas area. This autologous stem cell therapy has the ability to accelerate the body’s natural healing process following an injury. The Texas Sports Medicine team utilizes BMAC therapy in patients suffering from chronic tendon, ligament and cartilage injuries, as well as bone fractures, who desire to prolong, avoid a surgical procedure, or augment their recovery from surgery.
What is BMAC Therapy?
BMAC is a new, innovative and nonoperative treatment option designed to accelerate the body’s healing abilities by utilizing a patient’s very own autologous stem cells.
A large portion of the body’s stem cells are located in bone marrow. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate uses these autologous stem cells, also known as adult stem cells, to improve healing. By using BMAC therapy, Texas Sports Medicine can potentially improve a patient’s healing time without the complications and ethical concerns associated with the highly controversial embryonic stem cells. BMAC offers a reduced infection rate and risk of serious complications since the treatment utilizes a patient’s own stem cells harvested from their bone marrow. In addition, the stem cells are harvested and used during the same point of care, therefore ensuring viable stem cells. This is in contrast to the “off the shelf” products such as amniotic and placental derived products where viability is a concern.
What Conditions can Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Treat?
- Cartilage injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Bone fractures
- Osteoarthritis symptoms
How do I Know if BMAC is Right for Me?
In order to determine if BMAC is the ideal treatment option, an initial evaluation with a Texas Sports Medicine physician will be performed. Once the appropriate workup is completed, the bone marrow aspirate concentrate treatment will be scheduled for a future date.
It is important to note patients under the age of 60 years can typically achieve regeneration of damaged tissue utilizing their own adult stem cells with the use of BMAC therapy. Patients over the age of 60 years often develop senescent cells and cannot achieve the same healing benefits since the human body loses its ability to regenerate stem cells as it ages. Due to this decline in autologous stem cells, patients over 60 years of age may achieve better results using adipose-derived stem cells since adipose (fat) cells hold more stem cells than the bone marrow.
How is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Performed?
The patient’s autologous stem cells are harvested from their own body, usually from bone marrow in the hip region. Once the bone marrow is extracted, it is circulated in a centrifuge machine to separate the blood into various components. The adult stem cells selected out and then injected directly into the injured area in order to promote healing and regeneration of damaged tissue.
What Can I Expect?
Many patients report soreness around the injection site following BMAC therapy. This soreness is a positive sign that the body’s healing process has started. The soreness may be present for several days, but the intensity will decrease each day.
After BMAC Therapy
- Do not engage in high level exercise for several days
- Do not take anti-inflammatory medication the week prior to the procedure, or for several weeks following the procedure
- Do take Tylenol or prescribed pain medication after the treatment
- Do apply cold compresses to the injection site
- Do call your physician if severe soreness, fever or allergic reaction develops
To learn more about bone marrow aspirate concentrate, or to determine if you are a candidate for BMAC therapy, please contact the Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas area office of Texas Sports Medicine.