06 Dec Bone Marrow Transplant Side Effects
Could my bone marrow transplant have unforeseen side effects?
There are a whole host of reasons you may be considering having a bone marrow stem cell injection or transplant. If you are at a specialist stem cell clinic in the US, then you will typically be having the injection done for a few reasons. These may be:
- Spinal arthritis in the facet joints (this will usually be causing your lower back or neck pain that can be extremely debilitating)
- Extremity arthritis including your knees, hips, ankles or your shoulders
- Sacroiliac joint arthritis affecting your lower back.
What are the benefits of bone marrow transplant procedures?
This procedure can potentially reduce inflammation in the arthritis joints listed above. This can help to improve joint function by regenerating lost cartilage. It may also reduce pain and help you get back on your feet.
Are there any bone marrow transplant side effects?
This procedure is undertaken at specialist clinics on an outpatient basis. This means you will come in in the morning and go home that day. This usually means that the treatment is at very low risk (if you are staying in overnight then it makes sense that the doctors are slightly more worried about you – but with stem cell injections this never normally happens). However, despite the procedure being very low risk, there are a number of side effects. These include (but are not limited to):
- With any procedure in which a needle is inserted into the body, there is always a risk of infection. This, however, is rare. If you notice any symptoms of an infection such as a fever then contact your doctor immediately. If you notice any severe swelling of the joint, a new inability to walk on the joint, or a hot swollen joint then get in contact with your doctor as this may be a sign of infection.
- Allergic reaction. Injection of any material can result in an allergic reaction mounted by your own body. However, this is incredibly rare. It will usually occur immediately following the injection and will be picked up on before you leave the clinic. If it does occur medications can be swiftly given to calm the reaction down.
- Harvesting the cells from your own iliac crest can result in some hip pain at the site where they were harvested.
- Bleeding, as with any procedure, is also a risk here. If you have any hereditary bleeding disorders be sure to let your doctor know before the procedure.
- In some situations the wound may not heal properly, this is more likely if you are a smoker or a diabetic. In this case, you may notice some discharge from the wound.
Stem cell injections have the potential to revolutionize the care of patients with arthritis. If you or somebody you know is suffering from arthritis that has not been satisfactorily controlled with cortisone injections or medication then get in contact with a specialist stem cell clinic to trial the procedure today.