Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is made from fluid taken from the bone marrow of the back of the bony pelvis. The bone marrow aspirate contains stem cells that can help the healing of some bone, joint and tendon conditions.
What conditions will might be helped by stem cells?
Stem cells can be used to help with bone healing, cartilage repair and new blood vessel growth. Using stem cells may treat delayed union or nonunion of bone fractures, cartilage defects, osteonecrosis, chronic tendon problems or chronic wounds. This method is avoided in patients who have an infection or cancer.
The Bone Marrow Aspirate Procedure
A needle is used to remove bone marrow from within the bone. This is typically done under local anesthesia. We can also provide oral Xanax to take prior to the procedure. IV sedation is rarely used. Most people describe the initial aspiration of the bone marrow as feeling like an ‘internal barometric pressure change’ that lasts for less than 30 seconds. The sample of bone marrow is removed and then spun down in a centrifuge to separate the cells. A liquid is produced that has a high concentration of stem cells. Dr. Barr then injects the stems cells directly into the target tissue.
The pelvis is marked and prepped to keep the site sterile. A hollow needle is inserted into the bone using a small drill and a syringe is used to withdraw fluid from the bone marrow. After enough fluid has been collected, the needle is removed. Pressure is applied to the needle site to stop the bleeding. A small dressing is then applied.
After aspiration, there usually is pain at the pelvis that goes away within several days. A small dressing or bandage is kept at the aspiration site until it has healed.
Potential complications may include pain, bleeding, infection and nerve injury. Intra-abdominal injury may occur because of the needle. The aspirate site may be painful for approximately one week.