New research shows promise for bone regeneration with bone marrow stem cells, may help prevent amputations.

Faculties of the chemistry and musculoskeletal departments at two universities in the U.K. joined forces to build a polymer implant that acts as a scaffold for bone marrow stem cells for bone regrowth. Through their research, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, they have found that their materials were excellent for human marrow derived cells and has the potential to prevent millions of amputations done every year. 

Hip Osteoarthritis Pain Gone Thanks to Bone Marrow Concentrate Therapy

Emory University interviewed one of its patients on how bone marrow concentrate therapy significantly lessened the pain from austioarthritis. John Lunsford was taking almost 20 anti-inflammatory pills per day because the pain was so intense. He consulted multiple doctors, all who suggested a total hip replacement. Hoping to avoid a total joint replacement, Lunsford’s research suggested BMC as an alternative. The Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles is one of the few clinics in the country that offers this similar procedure. Cells from a patient’s bone marrow are isolated out and concentrated in a centrifuge before being re-injected on the same day into the painful joint. The hope is that the blood flow deficient joint will receive a boost to promote healing and stimulate the immune system to reduce inflammation and pain to encourage more function. This is just one case in which bone marrow injections have significantly reduced osteoarthritis pain. This cell based therapy offers new hope for the millions people  suffering with debilitating joint pain that are fearful or apprehensive for a total joint replacement. More trials are being conducted on this and other cell based therapie sliek PRP to determine which cases may be optimal candidates.

Knee Osteoarthritis Pain May Be Reduced By Mesenchymal Stem Cell Injections

Research conducted by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Yonsei SarangHospital in South Korea show the benefits of injecting stem cells to reduce pain and improve function of knee joints. Typically, knee osteoarthritis is most common in people over the age of 40, especially women. The cartilage between the bone and knee joint gradually degrades over time causing discomfort. A study was done with 18 participants between the ages of 41 and 69 years of age, of which 12 were women. Clinical data and MRI scans were collected before and after the stem cells were injected into the patient’s knee. The results showed a positive correlation between the data and the number of cells injected. This study shows that mesenchymal stem cells may be an effective way to reduce pain and improve knee function in knee osteoarthritis sufferers. The Orthohealing Center uses cutting edge technology to help reduce pain and improve function as conservatively as possible. For more information visit our website.


Bone Marrow Concentrate Possible Treatment for Chronic Patellar Tendinopathy

Researchers at the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery Center in New York, New York sought to discover the long-term effects of bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections on cases of chronic patellar tendinopathy. Eight patients were used in the study, and results were established through clinical scores and ultrasound.

Red bone marrow, found in flat bone like the hip, is rich in cells that can repair and regenerate degenerative tissue. In this study, researchers extracted a small sample of the patient’s own bone marrow, and used ultrasound guidance to inject the BMC into the patellar tendon lesion. After a 5-year followup, the majority of patients showed statistically significant improvement, and would opt to utilize the therapy if patellar tendinopathy occurred in the other knee.

Though more research may be needed, bone marrow concentrate therapy along with other treatments that harness the body’s natural healing processes are now being offered at orthopedic centers like the Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles, California.

A new article in Orthopedics today demonstrates the potential benefit of bone marrow cell injection in non-union fracture

New research from the United Kingdom supports bone marrow cells use as a potential treatment for non-union (non-healing) fractures. Investigators at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and Keele University carried out a study of 35 patients with non-healing fractures. They analyzed the cells from these non-union fractures which showed less capacity to re-grow bone. Hence, it was thought that injecting these patients with their own (autologous) bone marrow mesenchymal cells could help in healing these fractures. All 35 patients received a bone marrow cell injection on one side of the fracture and a placebo (serum) injection on the other side. Images were later taken to monitor progress. Six independent investigators reviewed these images and as if now they concluded positive results on the side that received marrow cell injections compared to the sides that were injected with the placebo.

New Research Planned for Knee Osteoarthritis Stem-Cell Therapy

A new research plan released from Rush University Medical Center will study the effects of Cartistem, a stem cell therapy that has the potential for cartilage regeneration and knee-pain relief. Cartistem is composed of mesenchymal stem cells that can become either bone and cartilage cells. The mesenchymal cells originate from blood from another human being’s umbilical cord and then are mixed with hyaluronan, which is a substance that is used to treat osteoarthritis in the knee. During micro-fracture surgery the mixture is then injected arthroscopically into the knee.  Dr. Brian J. Cole will lead the study and will feature 12 people over the age of 18 taking place over a two-year stretch.  More studies like this are necessary to address the void in young patients looking for an alternative to knee replacement surgery.

Research Shows Doctors Really Do Care

In a recent study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that physicians could relate to the pain their patients go through and seek to do their best to relieve the pain. In the study, a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner was used on 18 physicians that tracked their brain activity. The data showed that when the physicians thought they were applying pain to the patients, their brain activity was active in the areas that showed sympathy. Also, when the physicians believed they were administering pain relief, data showed that the regions of the brain that showed reward were active.

This study suggests that this gives a new twist to the expression “physician, heal thyself” and brings up the idea that doctors who go through the pain themselves and have confidence that it can get better might be the best at healing others.

Doctor to professional Athletes, James Andrews discusses Bone Marrow Stem Cell usage in athletes with cartilage damage.

Athletes like Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, and Alex Smith have visited Dr James Andrews for some of the best available orthopedic care. Dr Andrews is utilizing bone marrow derived cells to maximize healing in challenging cases. We are seeing an epidemic of increased arthritis at earlier ages. There exists a huge gap in available treatment options as an alternative to surgery. Dr Andrews was interviewed by ESPN the Magazine discussing his prediction that we will see increased use of regenerative based biologic therapies. Dr Andrews cautions that clinical trials are challenging due to limited funding & that patients do not want a placebo vs the actual treatment. Nonetheless  more trials are needed to prove is this is a safe & effective therapy for cartilage disease.

At the Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles, we are providing Bone Marrow Concentration Injections and PRP Platelet Rich Plasma to facilitate healing in challenging vases that have failed conservative options as an alternative to surgery.


New study from Orthopedics today shows successful repair of cartilage defects by stem cell-rich collagen paste

A new article demonstrates successful repair of osteochondral (cartilage) defects of the talus (ankle bone) by stem cell-rich collagen paste made from patients’ own bone marrow. The paste is applied to the defect following debridement and surgery. Better results were seen in patients that went through the paste therapy in addition to the surgery than the patients that only underwent surgery. It is believed that the bone marrow paste forms a elastic (hyaline) cartilage which is more durable than the tough (fibrous) cartilage made by surgery alone. These patients showed really good short-term results and are now being followed to monitor the long-term effects.

What are BMC and bone marrow injections?

BMC stands for Bone Marrow Concentrate. Bone marrow is the flexible tissue found in the hollow interior of bones. In adults, marrow in large bones produces new blood cells, including regenerative cells. These cells can be extracted from the patient’s hip bone and used for BMC injection therapy.

BMC is a concentrated amount of regenerative cells obtained from a patient’s own bone marrow. The physician removes a small amount of the patient’s bone marrow and spins it in a centrifuge in order to generate a concentrate that will be injected in the injured area. In the past, these types of cells were often very difficult and expensive to obtain from the body. With newer techniques and technological improvements, regenerative cells can easily be obtained and concentrated by a simple office procedure.

BMC makes use of a patient’s own undifferentiated cells to promote healing and tissue regeneration naturally. Unlike other cells, these cells have the ability to replicate themselves into a variety of tissue types. When injury occurs, the usual number of regenerative cells needed for tissue regeneration is often inadequate. With BMC, the concentrate of regenerative cells will provide a more robust healing of the damaged tissue and aid in growth and repair. While the full benefits of BMC are still unknown, it has been shown to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and enhance healing of articular cartilage and bone grafts.

Regenerative cells are obtained by harvesting bone marrow from the back of the patient’s hip bone under X-ray guidance. There is usually minimal discomfort with this procedure because of local anesthetic used in the area. The bone marrow is then placed in a machine called a centrifuge, which separates the regenerative cells and platelets from the rest of the blood products. Once introduced at the site of injury, the platelets release growth factors that tell the regenerative cells what to become.

PRP is a concentrate of platelets from the blood while BMC consists of regenerative cells from bone marrow. When used together, the powerful combination of BMC and PRP often provides outstanding results in appropriate patients where PRP is not potent enough for advanced osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, hand, foot, ankle, and spine.