What is Adipose and Bone Marrow Aspiration?
With the revolutionary ability to promote self-renewal and self-regeneration, stem cell-based therapies are on the cutting edge of sports medicine and pain management. Two of the most popular today are Adipose and Bone Marrow Aspiration.
At Nuvo Spine and Sports, we specialize in Adipose and Bone Marrow Aspiration. While both procedures are similar, there are important differences you should weigh when considering your options.
In both procedures, stem cells are harvested from the patient’s own body, spun into a highly-concentrated solution, and then injected directly into the area of pain. The stem cell-rich fluid accelerates the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Stem cell therapy involves using a patient’s own stem cells for healing a variety of illnesses and injuries. Known as an autologous transplant, using a patient’s own stem cells helps reduce the chance of rejection.
Stem Cell Therapy to Repair Damaged Tissue
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. As stem cells divide, they have the ability to differentiate into almost any kind of specialized cell, whether that’s a bone cell, a ligament cell, or any other type of cell found in the body.
You may already be familiar with embryonic stem cells, but today’s practitioners are far more interested in the therapeutic potential of stem cells harvested from adults. Adults retain stem cells to repair and restore damaged tissue. Stem cell therapies harness and amplify these regenerative powers.
Stem Cells Stimulate Self-Healing
Stem cells produce growth factors and anti-inflammatory proteins.
With an autologous injection of your own stem cells into your body, we can:
- Promote rapid self-healing in damaged connective, cartilaginous, and bony tissue
- Avoid an undesirable immune response
- Ease pain and improve function
- Delay surgery, or avoid it altogether
Unlike medication or steroid injections, stem cell-based therapies don’t just put a band-aid over an existing issue.
Stem cells help your body to heal itself, treating the underlying cause of the pain, in the following cases:
- Knee injury
- Knee arthritis
- Hip arthritis
- Shoulder injury
- Rotator cuff repair
- …And many more
Bone Marrow Aspiration
Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside your bones, and it is crucial to your body’s natural healing and self-regeneration abilities. Bone marrow manufactures blood, which is primarily composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma.
Because of this process, bone marrow cell is practically bursting with raw, undifferentiated stem cells. Bone marrow is difficult and time-consuming to acquire, but it’s remarkably effective for healing bone-related damage. This is why we usually recommend bone marrow stem cell as the first line of treatment for osteoarthritis and tendon injuries.
Bone marrow stem cell is harvested from the wing bone of the pelvis, then spun in a centrifuge to become bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) before being injected anywhere into the body.
The advantage for using bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) vs. adipose is that like adipose, BMAC contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that stimulate wound healing, reduce inflammation, and modulate immune cells. And unlike adipose, it also contains great numbers of other cell types that can induce new blood vessel growth and reinvigorate tissue that doesn’t have an adequate blood supply. The bone marrow stem cells include cells that can induce angiogenesis; new blood vessel formation. Without new blood vessel formation, no tissue heals properly or completely.
Bone marrow aspiration usually requires:
- General anesthesia
- More time to culture the cells before use
Adipose-Derived Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are present in bone marrow, blood, and fat tissue. These cells have an innate ability to regenerate to rebuild tissues and bone.
One method of harvesting adult stem cells involves extracting them directly from bone marrow. However, harvesting adipose stem cells is much less invasive than bone marrow extraction. The process involves a liposuction-type procedure, usually requiring between 25 and 50 cc of adipose tissue. This tissue typically contains a much higher volume of mesenchymal stem cells than bone marrow samples of the same size. These adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells have shown promise in suppressing unhealthy immune responses that are present in people with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to differentiate and regenerate into many different types of cells after infusion. In many cases, patients experience relief from pain and inflammation almost immediately.
Adipose tissue is the loose, connective tissue made up of cells that store fat. When used in regenerative therapy, concentrated adipose tissue forms a stem-cell-rich scaffold, which the body can use as a support structure for new tissue.
Adipose aspiration is much easier to perform, and the procedure actually yields many more stem cells than bone marrow aspiration. Still, we would usually recommend adipose as a second line treatment.
Stem cell therapy procedure is based on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) prepared from adipose tissue (fat). The mixture of regenerative cells and growth factors that are derived from adipose tissue called the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), has been an excellent choice for soft tissue repair, especially the regeneration of cartilaginous joints such as knees, hips, and shoulders.
Fat tissue provides the largest volume of adult stem cells, while bone marrow provides growth factors to aid with the repair process. That’s why we add bone marrow to our stem cell therapy formula as well.
Adipose aspiration usually requires:
- Liposuction with a local anesthetic
- No additional time to culture before use
Questions? Contact Us
If you have questions about stem cell-based therapy, get in touch with us. With over ten years of experience, Nuvo Spine provides compassionate care, specializing in non-surgical and interventional musculoskeletal pain management.