What Is the Typical Treatment Plan for Bone Marrow Edema?

Treatment plans for bone marrow edema depend on the specific underlying cause but typically include rest, medications and steroid injections, according to the website of Robert J. Daley, M.D., a hip and knee surgeon. If nonsurgical treatment options fail to provide adequate relief, doctors sometimes recommend surgery to restore damaged ligaments or remove tumors.

As of 2015, there is no cure for bone marrow edema, explains Daley’s website. Treatment plans focus on alleviating associated symptoms, such as pain and dysfunction of affected joints or bones. Properly managing all underlying conditions and caring for involved injuries is key.

Bone marrow edema is the accumulation of fluid in bone marrow, notes Daley’s website. Bone marrow is a spongy, flexible structure found inside all bones, and it plays an important role in the creation of new blood cells, including platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells.

Underlying conditions known to cause bone marrow edema include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, synovitis and bone tumors, according to Daley’s website. Other causes include bone bruises, bone fractures and ligament injury. Pain and dysfunction of the affected area are the most common symptoms of bone marrow edema, although many patients show no symptoms at all. Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to diagnose bone marrow edema.