While you are awake and pain-free (using local anesthesia), bone marrow is removed from the top of the hip bone (iliac crest). The bone marrow is filtered, treated, and transplanted immediately. Other times it's frozen and stored for later use. The bone marrow is then transfused through a vein (IV line). It naturally transports itself back into the intended bone cavities, where it grows quickly to replace the old bone marrow.
Update Date 3/28/2014
Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.