Treatment of bone marrow lesions (bone marrow edema)

Bonekey Rep. 2015 Nov 25;4:755. doi: 10.1038/bonekey.2015.124. eCollection 2015.


Bone marrow lesions (BMLs) or using older terminology 'Bone marrow edema' is characterised by excessive water signals in the marrow space on magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound; BMLs constitute a central component of a wide variety of inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatologic conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system: BMLs are not only considered significant sources of pain but also linked to increased disease activity in many musculoskeletal conditions (for example, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis). The purpose of this review is to summarise current knowledge about the treatment of BMLs, with an emphasis on the clinical and histological features of this entity in inflammatory and non-inflammatory disease. We also try to pair this hypothesis with the apparent beneficial effects of various treatment regimens, mainly within the group of bone antiresorptive drugs (calcitonin, bisphosphonates) on symptoms associated with BMLs.

Publication types

  • Review