Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Injections
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the capability of transforming into any type of tissue. Their normal function is to regenerate dead and damaged cells in your body. Advances in medical sciences have harnessed this unique property to help in the healing of many tissues. Stem cells derived from bone marrow and fat (adipose tissues) are used to accelerate the healing of diseased and injured tissues such as bone, cartilage, tendon and blood vessels. This is a fairly new therapy that may be used in the treatment of bone fractures, osteonecrosis (bone tissue death due to reduced blood supply), cartilage defects, tendon injuries and chronic wounds.
Bone Marrow Concentrate
Bone marrow stem cells are usually extracted from the pelvic bone. Under local anesthesia, a needle is inserted into your pelvic bone, guided by imaging studies. Fluid is aspirated into a syringe and the needle withdrawn. The fluid obtained is then spun rapidly in a centrifuge machine to separate the stem cells from other parts of the blood. The concentrate of stem cells is then injected into the area to be treated. It takes about 2 hours to complete the process, and you can go home the same day.
Fat Stem Cells
Adipose tissue has about 100 to 1000 times more stem cells when compared to bone marrow. A suitable area for extracting fat either from the abdomen, buttock, or thigh is chosen and anesthetized. An adequate amount of fat is obtained from just below the skin with the help of a small cannula. The extracted fat is centrifuged to obtain a concentrate of fat stem cells and directly injected into the area requiring treatment. Stem cell injection is guided by imaging studies when targeting deep tissues. Platelet rich plasma, a concentrate of blood platelets, which contains high level of growth factors, is usually also injected to enhance the activity of stem cells. The procedure takes about 1- 2 hours, after which you may return to your regular activities.
Some conditions respond better to stem cells from bone marrow while others respond better to fat-derived stem cells. Your doctor will determine what is ideal for you.