Myths and Facts About Bone Marrow Cell Therapy

Regenerative therapies like bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) harness your body’s power to heal itself and offer many benefits over medications and other treatments.

At Precision Regenerative Medicine, Tammy Penhollow, DO, can use BMAC therapy to support your recovery from injuries or degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

While regenerative medicine has been used for some time to heal orthopedic conditions, there is still a lot of misinformation about these nonsurgical therapies.

Understanding bone marrow cell therapy

Bone marrow contains mesenchymal stem cells that can create different types of cells, including nerve, muscle and bone. High concentrations of these mesenchymal stem cells can signal other cells in the body to reduce inflammation and accelerate your healing processes.

Dr. Penhollow uses a needle to draw bone marrow from your pelvic bone to get the bone marrow concentrate needed for therapy. She uses a centrifuge, a fast-spinning device that separates these mesenchymal signaling stem cells from other materials.

The remaining high concentration of signaling cells, a protein called IRAP, and other growth factors and proteins is what Dr. Penhollow precisely injects into your body to stimulate your healing processes. She uses ultrasound and/or fluoroscopy to deliver these cells to the sites of injury such as damaged: 

  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage
  • Spinal discs

Over time, these new cells continue signaling the body to contribute to repair of tissue tears and other injuries and reduce inflammation.

Myths and facts about bone marrow cell therapy

If you’re looking for treatment options that can help you put off or avoid surgery but still relieve your pain, it’s important you understand what’s true and what’s not about bone marrow cell therapy.

Here are some common myths and facts about this type of regenerative therapy:

MYTH: BMAC therapy doesn’t work

FACT: Bone marrow stem cell use in musculoskeletal conditions is getting better by the decade. Research and clinical use started in the 1990s, and tens of thousands have undergone treatment. On the research side, more than 13,000 patients have received this therapy and had their results published and indexed in the US Library of Medicine.

Treatment targets osteoarthritis and ligament, tendon, and muscle damage in and around joints such as knees, hips, shoulders, and targets chronic back pain resulting from degeneration of the spinal discs, joints, and ligaments. Optimized bone marrow collection techniques, comprehensive BMAC delivery protocols, patient selection and patient optimization prior to the bone marrow collection are all critical elements that set Dr. Penhollow apart.

MYTH: Stem cells should only come from embryos

FACT: At this time all birth tissue (amniotic fluid, Wharton’s Jelly, cord blood) products are considered drugs by the FDA. The only legal way to obtain and use these products is through a registered clinical research study (a drug trial) as there are no current FDA approved products. Many patients have been hurt by bacteria contaminated products due to issues with sterile processing of the specimens. Further, several studies have shown the products contain only dead cells.

Because we only use your own cells that are only minimally manipulated (centrifugation) then immediately placed back into your body at the site of musculoskeletal injury, your body receives your own live cells and they will not be rejected.

MYTH: BMAC therapy provides only temporary results

FACT: BMAC therapy can provide long-lasting reduction in pain and inflammation and lead to the return of function and motion in and around the treated joints and spine. This is because the minimally invasive treatment directly addresses their underlying cause of inflammation. Several large databases track patient outcomes after these procedures, many as far out as 10 years with endpoints of reduced pain, improved function, and avoiding surgery such as spinal fusion and joint replacement. Additional outcome measures track any complications such as infection; to date those complications are very rare, especially compared to surgery.

As new cells replace old, damaged ones, your body actually heals itself from the inside out and addresses the original cause of your symptoms.

Make informed decisions about your health.

BMAC therapy may not be a treatment option for everyone and not everyone is a candidate. Only after a physical exam, lab work, and other diagnostic testing can Dr. Penhollow know if this therapy is a good fit for you. 

She can help you make the most informed decision about your treatment options based on the nature of your condition, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health and wellness goals.

Dr. Penhollow will develop a comprehensive program with specific prehabilitation and rehabilitation protocols for use before and after the cell therapy to optimize your body’s response to the therapy. We offer a wide range of lifestyle services to improve gut health and revitalize energy levels.

Call Precision Regenerative Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona, to schedule a bone marrow cell therapy consultation or book an appointment online today.

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