Here at Active Life Physical Medicine & Pain Center we know that regenerative medicine
treatments are growing in popularity due to their ability to regenerate damaged tissues, helping
to maintain original function and prevent the growth of scar tissue. One of the biggest benefits of
these therapies is that they are able to provide these benefits while being only minimally or even
One treatment option that is becoming increasingly common is the use of bone marrow
concentrate with platelet rich plasma. Each of these options provides their own healing benefits,
and the combination of the two can produce extremely beneficial results when used with both
surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
What is Bone Marrow Concentrate?
Bone marrow concentrate, also known as BMC, is generated by creating a sample of bone
marrow that has a high concentration of stem cells, platelets, and other cells used by the human body for healing. Obtaining BMC is a simple, minimally invasive process. A needle is inserted into the top of the hip bone after the surrounding area has been numbed.
Then, bone marrow is withdrawn, and the sample is centrifuged to separate the various components. Much of the red blood cell volume is removed, providing a more concentrated
sample that can be used in regenerative therapies.
The stem cells have the ability to create new tissue to replace damaged cells, and they are able
to differentiate into a wide range of different types of tissue, allowing them to be effective in all
areas of the body. BMC includes a number of different growth factors as well, which all play
various roles in the healing process.
Some of these growth factors help to promote blood flow and the growth of new blood vessels in
damaged tissues, others work to reduce chronic inflammation levels and scar tissue buildup,
and some work to improve cellular communication to speed up the rebuilding and healing
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is prepared in a similar manner to BMC, but it is derived from a
person’s blood instead of their bone marrow. Once a blood sample is drawn and centrifuged,
the plasma portion of the blood is isolated. This plasma sample is then centrifuged again, which
separates the platelet rich plasma from the platelet poor plasma. The platelet rich plasma is
then isolated to be utilized in various treatments.
PRP is packed with tons of growth factors and contains a higher percentage of growth factors
than BMC. Together, these two products are able to work in tandem to improve tissue healing
substantially. The growth factors help to improve the effectiveness of the stem cells, which are
primarily responsible for new tissue growth.
How BMC and PRP Work with Other Treatments
PRP and BMC have been used in many different medical scenarios and for treating a variety of
different injuries. One study noted that using PRP in conjunction with BMC allowed the stem
cells to migrate and activate more quickly after an injection than if PRP was not utilized. This
also helped to reduce overall inflammation and pain.
Another study looked at the effects of BMC and PRP on bone grafting. They found that bone
regenerated much more quickly with both of these substances than it did with either BMC or
PRP alone. Another study provided similar results, comparing a bone graft for the lumbar spine
by itself compared to one administered with PRP and BMC. Good fusion was seen in four out of
the 10 patients who received the allograft alone. However, when the PRP and BMC were
added, nine out of 10 patients showed good fusions.
BMC and PRP have also been shown to be effective in ACL reconstruction surgeries.
Researchers examined the difference between tendon-bone healing in ACL reconstructions
both with and without this combination treatment. After two weeks, researchers found that the
PRP/BMC group showed higher amounts of new tissue formation and the tissue that had
formed had a larger load capacity. They concluded that BMC and PRP treatments helped to
increase healed tissue functionality and significantly sped up the healing process.
PRP therapy continues to be combined with BMC, and these two therapies are being used in
tandem in a number of different regenerative medicine treatments. Promise has been seen
treating cartilage injuries, bone injuries, tendon injuries, and more. The ability of this therapy
combination to regenerate tissue shows a lot of promise and will most definitely see an
increased role in medical treatments in the near future.
Please call us at 623-535-9777 for more information!