Cartilage is a key component in optimal joint function. As we age, common conditions like osteoarthritis can wear down the cartilage in our knee that helps cushion our joints, which can lead to pain. Injury or other stresses on the joints can similarly affect the amount of cartilage we have as well.
To combat this pain, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines or steroid shots. However, these treatment methods often only provide temporary relief and have the potential for long-term side effects. Total knee replacement is always the last resort, but luckily there are other treatment options to consider beforehand, including Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate and Biologic Augmented Microdrilling.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) is a fluid that can be prepared directly from your own bone marrow, which contains stem cells packed with anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors. This fluid can be used to help the body regenerate tissue like cartilage.
The bone marrow needed for BMAC is easily harvested via a small needle in a large bone such as the pelvic bone. It is performed under local anesthesia for your comfort. Once withdrawn, the fluid is put through a special process using a centrifuge to concentrate the necessary cells and growth factors.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate has many uses within orthopedic medicine, including:
- Healing bone fractures
- Providing pain relief from osteoarthritis
- Improving the health of damaged tendons or cartilage.
Biologic Augmented Microdrilling (BAM)
Biologic Augmented Microdrilling (BAM) is an arthroscopic procedure that involves drilling small holes in the bone surrounding damaged or worn out cartilage. This allows local stem cells to easily be delivered to the site via biologic injections like Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate. Other examples of biologic injections include:
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) - blood that contains concentrated growth factors.
Cartilage Regeneration in Baton Rouge
Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Broyles has been treating patients suffering from osteoarthritis since 2011 with Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) and Biologic Augmented Microdrilling (BAM). He has published his technique and patient results in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Broyles offers a range of treatment options from in-office injections to BMAC augmented surgeries.
If you’re injured or have been diagnosed with meniscus degeneration or osteoarthritis and are looking to avoid total knee replacement, a treatment at the Cartilage Regeneration Center at Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge may be an option for you.