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Bone Marrow Stem Cell

Bone Marrow Stem Cell

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue  inside a person’s bones, and produces cells that are vital to existence including platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. 

All of these cells begin in the marrow as stem cells, which are essentially a “blank slate” type of cell. With a “blank slate”, the stem cell can differentiate into virtually any type of cell necessary in the body such as cartilage, tendon or muscle. 

There are three types of adult stem cells in the human body. 

  1. One type eventually turns into blood components, 
  2. Second destined to become lining of the endometrium.
  3. The third, are mesenchymal stem cells found in bone marrow, they are the most ikmportant. They have been used in human models to regenerate bone. 

The richest sources of stem cells in the body for concentrated amounts of bone marrow are in the iliac crest of the hip and the bones of the spine. 

Harvesting bone marrow from the iliac crest does entail some moderate pain. While plenty of numbing medicine is used during the procedure, there will be some mild to moderate discomfort. This may persist for a few days and slowly subside as the area heals. The injection of the prepared bone marrow into the affected joint is no more painful than a typical cortisone injection. For a few days afterwards, the joint may have slight increased pain due to the inflammatory reaction generated. The inflammation is the first step to healing so this is a normal reaction.

First of all, the doctor will extract bone marrow from the patient’s hip bone at the iliac crest. The area is prepped sterile and numbed considerably to make it tolerable. Since the patient continuously makes new bone marrow, it does not present any lasting problem to harvest some of the bone marrow.
Approximately 30 to 60 cc’s of bone marrow is acquired, and it is processed immediately to concentrate down the stem cells and growth factors.
Once the marrow is harvested, it is then placed in a centrifuge and spun until a concentrated substance is obtained consisting of the most important regenerative components. Afterwards, the patient is injected with the substance on the same day, without the need for hospitalization.

Bone marrow derived stem cell injections have as goal to treat the damaged tissue, so that the body can heal. Not only to heal the problem, but to provide pain relief at the same time. Cortisone shots, on the other hand, do not have any other role than pain relief by providing anti-inflammation. While cortisone (steroid) injections are effective, they are not long term.

With the procedure being outpatient and minimally invasive, the risks are low. But they do exist and include potential for infection, allergic reaction, bleeding, pain at the harvest site, wound drainage and failure to relieve a person’s pain. Risks should be discussed with your treating doctor.



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