person wearing sneakers rests their feet on blue wallWhile traditional arthroscopic techniques offer reliable solutions for many ankle cartilage lesions, advancements in regenerative medicine are leading to exciting new possibilities. Bone marrow aspirate concentrates (BMAC) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are two emerging therapies showing promise in promoting cartilage healing.

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrates (BMAC):

BMAC is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and other growth factors found within bone marrow. During a minimally invasive procedure, a small amount of bone marrow is aspirated from the patient's hip. This aspirate is then processed to concentrate the MSCs and growth factors. The concentrated BMAC is then injected back into the damaged area of the ankle joint. This can be done to augment surgical repair or as a stand-alone treatment in the office.

Potential Benefits of BMAC for Ankle Cartilage Lesions:

  • Promotes Healing: MSCs have the potential to differentiate into cartilage-like cells, aiding in the repair process.
  • Reduces Inflammation: Growth factors in BMAC can help reduce inflammation and promote a healing environment.
  • Minimally Invasive: The procedure utilizes a small needle for injection, minimizing recovery time.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP):

PRP is a blood product derived from the patient's own blood. Platelets, rich in growth factors, are separated from whole blood through a centrifugation process. The concentrated PRP is then injected into the injured area.

Potential Benefits of PRP for Ankle Cartilage Lesions:

  • Stimulates Healing: Growth factors in PRP can stimulate the growth of new cartilage and collagen.
  • Reduces Pain: PRP may help reduce inflammation and pain associated with cartilage damage.
  • Faster Recovery: PRP may accelerate the healing process compared to traditional methods.

BMAC vs. PRP for Ankle Cartilage Repair: The Current Landscape

While both BMAC and PRP offer promising possibilities, research on their effectiveness in ankle cartilage repair is still evolving.

  • BMAC: Early studies suggest BMAC may be beneficial for smaller lesions and may offer some pain relief.
  • PRP: The evidence supporting PRP is even less conclusive for ankle cartilage repair. More research is needed to determine its long-term efficacy.

Important Considerations:

  • These are relatively new techniques, and their long-term safety and effectiveness are still being established.
  • BMAC and PRP may be used as standalone treatments for smaller lesions or in conjunction with traditional surgical procedures like microfracture for larger ones.
  • Insurance coverage for these therapies may vary.

The Road Ahead: Personalized Care and Future Advancements

At Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness, PC, we stay at the forefront of advancements in orthopedic care. As research continues, BMAC and PRP may become more established options for treating ankle cartilage lesions. We are committed to exploring all potential solutions to create a personalized treatment plan that best suits your individual needs and goals.


Ankle cartilage damage can significantly impact your mobility and quality of life. Fortunately, various treatment options exist, including both traditional surgical techniques and emerging therapies like BMAC and PRP. If you are experiencing ankle pain or limitations due to cartilage damage, consult with our team of experienced orthopedic specialists at Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness, PC. We will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that helps you get back to enjoying an active lifestyle.