Doctors are recommending stem cell, or orthobiologic, therapy as the latest way to renew and repair damaged or diseased tissue and treat orthopedic and sports medicine conditions. Orthobiologics are products made from substances that are naturally found in your body. And the good news? RISE offers orthobiologics for the musculoskeletal system including soft tissues (ligaments and tendons) and peripheral joints (such as elbow, shoulder, knee or ankle) as well as spine. But before you’re ready to get treated, it’s important to understand the science behind stem cells.
Two Types of Stem Cells
There are two types of stem cells:
- Embryonic stem cells come from human embryos. These stem cells have the ability to develop into any of the various cell types of the body. This is called a pluripotent stem cell.
- Adult stem cells are found throughout the body in juveniles and adults. Like embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells can replicate into more than one cell type, but those cell types are limited. This is called a multipotent stem cell. RISE uses adult stem cells from your own body in the promotion of healing tissue in your own body.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) Therapy at RISE
BMAC therapy is an orthobiologic that uses the mesenchymal stem cells found in your bone marrow to promote growth and healing in other parts of your body. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is the fluid extracted and concentrated from bone marrow. The resulting BMAC fluid is injected into specific areas of your body to help renew and repair damaged or diseased tissue. BMAC therapy can effectively treat osteoarthritis, spinal cord injuries, and sports injuries.
How COOL is this?! Use YOUR BODY to HEAL YOUR BODY.
This is part of the RISE promise.
How BMAC Therapy Works
BMAC therapy is an outpatient procedure that involves extracting bone marrow—typically from the patient’s anesthetized pelvis with a needle under fluoroscopic guidance. The bone marrow is placed in a centrifuge which separates and produces a liquid with a high concentration of mesenchymal stem cells (remember these are the wonderful renewing and healing cells). This liquid is then injected into the treatment area. After the injection, most patients feel some pain or soreness at the extraction site for several days but can be treated with medication. Most patients will only need one injection while others may need to return for subsequent treatments.
Orthobiologics are still being studied, but several peer-reviewed journals have validated the safety and efficacy of BMAC therapy in the treatment of spine and sports injuries.
References and Further Reading:
Ski Magazine: Can Stem Cell Therapy Save Your Knees?
Orthopedic Reviews: The Basic Science of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate in Chondral Injuries
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research: Effects of bone marrow aspirate concentrate and platelet-rich plasma on patients with partial tear of the rotator cuff tendon
International Orthopaedics: Autologous bone marrow concentrate intradiscal injection for the treatment of degenerative disc disease with three-year follow-up
The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine: Concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate for the Treatment of Chondral Injuries and Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Dr. Sonja Stilp is the founder of RISE. She is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with fellowship training in interventional spine and sports medicine. Dr. Stilp has advanced training in regenerative medicine and biologics for the treatment of spine and sports injuries. If you’d like to hear more about orthobiologics schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Stilp at RISE in Boulder, Colorado. Also, check out the upcoming procedure video as Dr. Stilp undergoes the BMAC procedure for an old bike racing injury to her left knee.