By Phillip Steele, MD RMSK CAQ Sports Medicine
Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine
A recent well done study on the efficacy of Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) was published in the Journal of Regenerative Medicine. This study provides an excellent example of the potential benefits of stem cell therapy. In this study, they injected BMC into 125 patients using a standard technique that included a single intra-articular joint injection (multiple joint types) of BMC and a follow-up injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) at 8 weeks post procedure. The patients had grade three or higher osteoarthritis.
Highlights of this study include:
– No adverse events were reported for both the BMC and PRP injections.
– The BMC procedure was well tolerated with a median pain scale score of 2/10.
– Median pain reduction of pain at 148 days was 71.4%.
– A total of 91% of patients indicated they would repeat the procedure.
– A total of 94% indicated that they would recommend the procedure to a friend.
The article further elaborated the importance of PRP at 8 weeks based on our current understanding of the healing cascade. At 8 weeks the BMC injection is laying down new tissue and the addition of PRP adds growth factors and cytokines. These growth factors and Cytokines act to stimulate additional new tissue growth such as cartilage, and enhance the anti-degenerative effectiveness of BMC.
With regenerative medicine becoming more mainstream, the potential to help relieve pain and improve functions is well documented. Although more research is needed, clearly this paper adds to the already growing body of information on the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy.