Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy for Disc Pain

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy for Discogenic Pain

Low back pain is a common, debilitating condition. According to studies, back pain greatly impacts the workforce through lost wages and medical expenses. The single most common pain generator is the intervertebral disc, which are fibrous cushions that lie in between each vertebra. A new, innovative treatment for discogenic (disc-causing) pain is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy.

What are discs?

A disc is composed of the gel-like center (nucleus pulposus) and tough outer layers (annulus fibrosis). The nucleus is 80% water, which erodes and leaves the disc over time. Loss of water content to the nucleus can lead to loss of spine flexibility and shock absorption. The annulus layers can develop tears and cracks over time, which weakens the spinal structure. Any change in the disc structure, integrity, or flexibility can cause discogenic back pain.

How common is discogenic pain?

According to a recent research study, around 37% of chronic low back pain is related to internal disc disruption. Researchers evaluated discograms, and found that 74% of people with low back pain had an abnormal discogram (test to assess for disc problems).


How Does Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy Help Discogenic Pain?

Once injected, mesenchymal bone marrow can differentiate into other types of cells, which aid in the repair of the disc structures. Bone marrow contains many growth factors and chemicals that aid in the repair of disc tissue. Because the tears, cracks, and layers of the disc are repaired, there is less disc pain.

Does Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy Work?

According to recent clinical studies, disc integrity is improved after Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy. In vitro studies that showed bidirectional synergy, increased growth factor production, and disc tissue regeneration. In two separate studies, researchers found that bone marrow had the ability to produce new nuclear matrix components, which improve disc function. Another study showed an 81-91% disc height restoration and MRI improvement rate.


How is Bone Marrow Obtained?

Most Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate is obtained from the iliac crest bone marrow, which is removed at the hip bone. The procedure is simple. The skin is cleaned, and the tissues are numbed using an anesthetic. A procedure needle is inserted into the bone using fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray). Gentle aspiration is used to withdraw bone marrow from the bone. The solution is then processed in the laboratory to concentrate and purify the bone marrow.

How is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate injected into the damaged, diseased, or injured disc?

The procedure is performed using light sedation, so the patient is comfortable. The skin of the back is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and the tissues are numbed with lidocaine. A procedure needle is guided into the disc using fluoroscopy, and the bone marrow solution is injected. The needle is then removed, and a dry bandage is applied. The entire procedure takes less than one hour to perform.


Verrills P, Nowesenitz G, & Barnard A (2015). Prevalence and Characteristics of Discogenic Pain in Tertiary Practice: 223 Consecutive Cases Utilizing Lumbar Discography. Pain Med, 16(8), 1490-1499.

Zeckser J, Wolff M, Tucker J, & Goodwin J (2016). Multipotent Mesenchymal Stem Cell Treatment for Discogenic Low Back Pain and Disc Degeneration. Stem Cells Int.

All content has been reviewed and approved by orthopedic specialist Dr. Zvezdomir “Zed” Zamfirov. Dr. Zed’s practice — All Star Pain Management and Regenerative Medicine — proudly serves the Annapolis, Greater Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas.

Call Today to Begin Living Life Pain Free

No one is immune to chronic pain and injury. If your quality of life has continued to be affected by debilitating pain, it’s time to make a change. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Zed at All Star Pain Management and Regenerative Medicine to learn how our cutting-edge treatments can get you back to doing what you love. Call us today to book your appointment and become an all star with us.

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