What is marrow edema?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Olga Tromp Jr.
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Bone marrow edema (BME) is a condition characterized by accumulation of excessive fluid in related structures of bone marrow. Usually injury of the bones may induce fluid accumulation, as a result of the protective mechanism of our body.

What does marrow edema mean on MRI?

Bone marrow edema is the term given to abnormal fluid signal seen within the bone marrow on MRI. It is a non-specific, yet important finding usually indicating the presence of underlying pathology.

Is bone marrow edema bad?

Bone marrow edema in persons with osteoarthritis is associated with poor outcomes. When compared to people without edema, those with edema are likely to see their condition deteriorate quickly, often over the course of 15 to 30 months.

What does bone marrow edema indicate?

A bone marrow edema — often referred to as bone marrow lesion — occurs when fluid builds up in the bone marrow. Bone marrow edema is typically a response to an injury such as a fracture or conditions such as osteoarthritis. Bone marrow edema usually resolves itself with rest and physical therapy.

What causes bone marrow edema in foot?

Common causes of bone marrow edema in multiple bones in the ankle and foot include high turnover in children, stress, altered biomechanics, contusions or fractures, immobilization, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), infarcts, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, neuroarthropathy, and transient osteoporosis.


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What is the treatment for bone marrow edema?

The treatment options include rest, medications, steroid injections or surgery. Surgery is recommended only when non-surgical interventions fail to provide any relief from the symptoms of BME. Surgery is preferred in conditions such as to repair the damaged ligament, pin fractures and for removing tumors.

Is bone marrow edema a stress fracture?

Bone Marrow edema is the preclude to a stress fracture. Before a true "pathological" stress fracture occurs, bone marrow edema occurs, which weakens the bone. Rarely, bone marrow edema syndrome can occur, which is an idiopathic cause of edema located inside the bone marrow.

What happens if edema is left untreated?

If left untreated, edema can lead to increasingly painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation.

What conditions cause edema?

Several diseases and conditions may cause edema, including:
  • Congestive heart failure. ...
  • Cirrhosis. ...
  • Kidney disease. ...
  • Kidney damage. ...
  • Weakness or damage to veins in your legs. ...
  • Inadequate lymphatic system. ...
  • Severe, long-term protein deficiency.

Does inflammation cause edema?

The swelling process, also known as edema, is the result of acute inflammation, a response triggered by damage to living tissues. In the case of injury, the purpose of the inflammatory response is to remove components of damaged tissue in order to allow the body to begin to heal.

What medication causes edema?

Many medicines can cause edema, including:
  • NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen)
  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Corticosteroids (like prednisone and methylprednisolone)
  • Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone.
  • Pramipexole.

How do you reduce bone swelling?

A doctor may suggest:
  1. resting the affected bone or joint.
  2. reducing swelling by raising the injured area above heart level.
  3. applying ice to the injury several times a day.
  4. taking analgesic drugs, such as acetaminophen, to reduce pain and inflammation.
  5. wearing a brace to limit movement.

What causes abnormal bone marrow signal on MRI?

The myriad causes of bone marrow signal alteration include variants of normal, marrow reconversion, tumor (myeloproliferative disorders, metastatic, or primary), radiation, fracture, degenerative change, infection, inflammatory arthritis, and osteonecrosis.

What does edema look like on MRI?

On MRI, edema produces high signal on T2-weighted imaging and low signal on T1-weighted imaging. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and apparent diffusion coef- ficient (ADC) sequences distinguish between cytotoxic edema (restricted diffusion) and vaso- genic or interstitial edema (normal or increased diffusion).

How does RA affect bone marrow?

The researchers concluded that the bone marrow environment in patients with RA can promote the development of Th17 cell responses as well as the overproduction of IL-17AF, which may lead to increased inflammation and tissue destruction in patients with RA.

Will drinking more water help with edema?

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day

Though it might seem counterintuitive, getting enough fluids actually helps reduce swelling. When your body isn't hydrated enough, it holds onto the fluid it does have. This contributes to swelling.

Can edema be life threatening?

Some edema can be expected, such as swollen ankles when you're pregnant or a traumatic ankle sprain; but edema can be caused by life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease or kidney failure.

What doctor treats edema?

When to Seek Care for Swelling

If you experience swelling that does not go away on its own, make an appointment to see your primary doctor. If the issue doesn't improve, ask your doctor for a referral to a vascular specialist. Duke offers a special Limb Swelling Clinic for just these kinds of issues.

What is the cure for edema?

Mild edema usually goes away on its own, particularly if you help things along by raising the affected limb higher than your heart. More-severe edema may be treated with drugs that help your body expel excess fluid in the form of urine (diuretics). One of the most common diuretics is furosemide (Lasix).

Can High BP cause edema?

This can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is another potential cause of edema. Eclampsia, which results from pregnancy-induced hypertension, or high blood pressure, can also cause edema.

What foods are good to reduce edema?

Eat natural diuretic vegetables, including asparagus, parsley, beets, grapes, green beans, leafy greens, pineapple, pumpkin, onion, leeks, and garlic. Some of these foods may interact with diuretic medications. Eat antioxidant foods, such as blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, squash, and bell peppers.

Can arthritis cause bone marrow edema?

Bone marrow edema correlates with inflammation severity, joint destruction, clinical signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and thus is considered a predictor of rapid radiological progression of the disease.

Can PT help bone marrow edema?

ESWT is an effective physical therapy that can quickly relieve pain, improve function and help normalize the area of bone marrow edema. In this study, although the overall cure rate for BMES was only 34.3%, ESWT significantly reduced the area of bone marrow edema, and the efficacy of ESWT for BMES was 98.5% (Fig. 3g).

What is stress reactive marrow edema?

A stress response is characterized by a bone marrow edema like appearance with no obvious fracture cleft or cortical defect and with possible endosteal and/or periosteal edema. A stress reaction might be difficult to differentiate from a stress fracture and in that case, should be called stress injury 1.

Which disease becomes bone inflamed and marrow?

Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone marrow and surrounding bone due to an infection. When a bone gets infected, the bone marrow (the soft part inside the bone) swells and presses against the bone's blood vessels. The bone cells can't get enough blood and parts of the bone may die.