What is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)?
BMAC is the acronym for Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate. BMAC consists of stem cells found in the bone marrow and is comprised of growth factors as well as anti-inflammatory proteins that have been shown to assist in healing soft tissues and bone. These factors have also been shown to reduce the pain that is caused by tendinitis, arthritis or joint injury. Dr. Benedict Nwachukwu, orthopedic specialist, uses Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate as an adjunct to surgical procedures, treating patients in Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs with this biologic procedure.
What are Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) Stem Cells used for?
For patients who are suffering from chronic joint pain due to arthritis or an old injury, BMAC may be an ideal solution for joint pain. Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate has shown promise in treating cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Classified as an “autologous” stem cell therapy, BMAC uses a patient’s own adult stem cells. These specific types of stem cells assist with healing and regeneration of damaged tissue. Since they are from the patient’s own body, the risk of rejection is eliminated.
What conditions can be treated with Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)?
Dr. Nwachukwu uses BMAC stem cell injections in tandem with other treatments that have been proven to assist patients in healing. Some conditions he treats with BMAC are:
- Cartilage injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Some bone injuries
- Focal chondral lesions
- Joint pain
How are Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) Stem Cells obtained?
BMAC stem cells are found in the bones and are most abundant in the pelvic bones. During the harvesting procedure, Dr. Nwachukwu inserts a small needle into the pelvic bone and extracts the bone marrow, in certain cases the marrow can also be extracted from the humerus and the tibia. Aspiration of bone marrow is a quick and safe procedure than can be completed in approximately 15 minutes under local anesthesia with minimal discomfort. The bone marrow is then spun down in a centrifuge and filtered to extract the stem cells.
Where is BMAC injected?
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate is injected directly into the areas of the body that need additional regenerative benefit. BMAC can be a good adjunct for rotator cuff repair, hip labrum reconstruction and repair, and cartilage transplant procedures. BMAC can also be injected into the joint as a stand-alone procedure. In these cases, the goal is to maximize the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving benefit of bone marrow aspirate concentrate. The small amount of extracted bone marrow is replenished by the body within 2-3 weeks.
Are BMAC injections safe?
Orthopedic surgeons have been safely using BMAC stem cell therapy in thousands of medical and surgical procedures worldwide. It is important, however, that patients understand the procedure needs to be done by an expert in the field. Dr. Nwachukwu has extensive training and experience with biologic treatments and can offer his patients the best possible outcomes. Not every patient is a candidate for BMAC injections and Dr. Nwachukwu will discuss the benefits or downfalls of this procedure.
Does insurance pay for BMAC injections?
BMAC injections are gaining in popularity and are seen as a safe and effective non-surgical joint pain treatment. The procedure for obtaining the bone marrow is FDA approved, but BMAC stem cell injections are still considered “experimental”. Preliminary data on BMAC is very encouraging however clinical trials are ongoing to further confirm the effectiveness of BMAC. For this reason, not every insurance will cover BMAC injections.
For more information about Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cell therapy, or to see if you are a candidate for this specialized treatment, please contact the offices of Dr. Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, orthopedic biologics specialist, serving Manhattan, New York City and surrounding New York boroughs.