Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)

BMAC (Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate) Specialist

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate or BMAC is made up of cells from the patient’s own body. BMAC has been show to use the body’s own healing properties to speed up healing within a joint or bone without surgery. Doctor. Prem Ramkumar, orthopedic specialist, is located in Long Beach and serves patients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding Southern California areas who may be helped with a BMAC injection. To find out if you are a candidate, call Dr. Ramkumar’s team today!

What is bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC)?

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) is a form of regenerative medicine that uses a patient’s own bone marrow to help heal musculoskeletal injuries. BMAC consists of adult stem cells found in the bone marrow. The richest source is the iliac crest. While this is not a new discovery, these stem cells have renewed interest because they contain growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins proven to promote the healing of soft tissues and bone in certain situations. In hip and knee arthroscopy for focal, early articular cartilage loss, several studies show these stem cells can reduce pain and may even delay joint degeneration. Since a patient’s stem cells make up the BMAC, there is no real risk of rejection. Dr. Prem Ramkumar is a trained bone marrow aspirate concentrate specialist. He’s located in Long Beach and serves patients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding Southern California areas.

How is the bone marrow aspirate concentrate harvested?

Dr. Ramkumar uses BMAC stem cells only as an adjunct to a surgical procedure, not in as an in-office procedure. They are taken after you are asleep and from a patient’s pelvic bone. Aspiration of bone marrow is quick, safe and relatively painless compared to the primary procedure. Dr. Ramkumar inserts a small needle into the pelvic bone and extracts the bone marrow. The bone marrow is then turned into an injectable solution and and administered to the patient’s joint under direct visualization. The body replenishes the small amount of bone marrow extracted within 2-3 weeks. It is little to no infection risk from the harvest site in the pelvis and the surgical site in the hip or knee.

 

What conditions are treated with Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)?

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate has been used to treat many conditions. Some conditions Dr. Ramkumar treats with BMAC include:

  • Focal articular cartilage loss at the time of hip arthroscopy, typically among patients age 35 or older
  • Focal articular cartilage lesions at the time of knee arthroscopy, typically among patients age 45 or older

 

Who is a good candidate for BMAC?

If you are already undergoing a hip or knee arthroscopy and may have articular cartilage loss from your injury, you may be a candidate for BMAC as an adjunct. Orthopedic surgeons have safely used this therapy on thousands of patients worldwide. Dr. Ramkumar has extensive training with BMAC, offering his patients the best outcomes. Like any procedure, bone marrow aspirate concentrate is not for everyone, especially if you have cancer or an active systemic infection. Dr. Ramkumar will discuss all the risks and benefits before the procedure.

 

Does insurance pay for bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections?

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate injections are safe and can be effective. Most insurance companies do not charge you any additional fee if this is done at the time of surgery, which is why Dr. Ramkumar only offers it during a procedure. The bone marrow collection procedure is FDA-approved, but the stem cell injection is still considered experimental. Preliminary data from clinical trials is very encouraging, especially since the downside is low when using your own cells.

About the Author:

Dr. Prem N. Ramkumar, MD, MBA, is a dual fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon with focused expertise in hip and knee conditions, from Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy to Joint Replacement/Adult Reconstruction. Dr. Ramkumar treats patients at Long Beach Lakewood Orthopedic Institute serving Orange County, Los Angeles, Long Beach and surrounding Southern California areas. He received his medical education and surgical training at Cleveland Clinic, Harvard/Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Hospital for Special Surgery – the #1 ranked orthopaedic hospital in the country. He was privileged to serve as Assistant Team Physician to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and MLS' Red Bulls during his time at Hospital for Special Surgery. With over 124 peer-reviewed publications, 11 textbook chapters, published 10 articles in Forbes (among other circulations), Dr. Ramkumar lectures nationally and internationally.
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