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Cell-based therapy provides relief for chronic pain

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Knee pain

A new nonsurgical treatment option at Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic may be exactly what people suffering from arthritis and other long-term chronic orthopedic pain have been searching for.

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate, or BMAC, is a regenerative medicine treatment that uses a person’s bone marrow to facilitate healing, says Dr. Ryan Woods, a fellowship-trained non-operative sports medicine physician with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic.

Regenerative medicine, also known as orthobiologic therapy, uses the body’s natural properties to initiate a healing response to help ease pain and improve function.

Bone marrow contains platelets and a variety of powerful cells -- including stem cells -- that can help repair damaged tissue, injuries to joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, Woods says.

During the outpatient procedure, bone marrow is drawn from the pelvic bone and processed to isolate concentrated bone marrow cells. The concentrated bone marrow is injected into the pain area, where the cells facilitate new tissue growth and healing.

The treatment is used most often to treat arthritis in major joints, including knee, hip, shoulder and ankle.

When coupled with physical therapy, regenerative medicine treatments including BMAC and platelet-rich plasma have been shown to help ease pain and improve function.

“It’s exciting news for people with chronic orthopedic conditions,” Woods says.

BMAC is performed in the office under ultrasound guidance and takes approximately two hours.

Regenerative medicine is not covered by insurance and may not be recommended in all scenarios.

If you’re suffering from acute or chronic orthopedic issues and want to learn more about regenerative medicine treatment options, request a consultation today.

Published: Monday, March 18, 2019
Author: Alysha Schertz