A retrospective study was performed by Simon et al. to determine the safety and efficacy of intravenous Ibandronate therapy for Bone Marrow Edema and stress fracture cases. Ibandronate is a member of the Bisphosphonate class of medications, and is often used to treat Osteoporosis by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density.
The study examined 25 high-performance athletes: 60% of which were professional soccer players in Europe, and the remaining 40% were professional athletes in other sports. Each athlete was diagnosed with Bone Marrow Edema of the lower extremity/ trunk via MRI. The athletes were treated with high does Vitamin D and Intravenous Ibandronate.
The results revealed significant pain reduction and improvements in mobility 2 weeks after the first Ibandronate treatment in 16 of the 25 patients (64%).
The study also discovered significant correlations between onset of treatment and return to competition (RTC). There was substantial variation amongst the patients in regards to the onset of pain and proper MRI diagnosis, with the average time calculated at 106.3±104.1 days. While, the average time between 1st treatment and RTC was 102.6±65.2 days. However, in patients where the time between onset of pain and proper diagnosis was within 40 days, the RTC was reduced by almost 50% to 63.8±48.1 days after initiation of treatment.
The results suggest a potential beneficial effect of intravenous Ibandronate and high dose Vitamin D therapy on Bone Marrow Edema in high-performance athletes. Furthermore, early diagnosis and initiation of treatment illustrated a significantly reduced RTC, suggesting that earlier treatment may have a higher clinical efficacy. Although the study is composed of a small patient number from a highly specific demographic, the results do provide some validity for the use of intravenous bisphosphonates and Vitamin D therapy in the treatment of Bone Marrow Edema. Further clinical trials are needed to strengthen the therapeutic validity of the study, however, the results provide insight into the potential importance of optimal bone metabolism in such cases.
Be sure to catch Paul Anderson, ND from the National College of Natural Medicine at the TOBI: The Orthobiologic Institute 5th annual PRP and Regenerative Medicine Symposium. He will be speaking on IV Nutrient therapy and the many potential benefits for Orthopedic injuries and total body health.