This is a series of clinical case reports demonstrating that a combination of percutaneously injected autologous adipose-tissue-derived stem cells, hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma and calcium chloride may be able to regenerate bones in human osteonecrosis, and with addition of a very low dose of dexamethasone, cartilage in human knee osteoarthritis.
Stem cells were obtained from adipose tissue of abdominal origin by digesting lipoaspirate tissue with collagenase. These stem cells, along with hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma and calcium chloride, were injected into the right hip of a 29-year-old Korean woman and a 47-year-old Korean man. They both had a history of right hip osteonecrosis of the femoral head. For cartilage regeneration, a 70-year-old Korean woman and a 79-year-old Korean woman, both with a long history of knee pain due to osteoarthritis, were injected with stem cells along with hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma, calcium chloride and a nanogram dose of dexamethasone. Pre-treatment and post-treatment MRI scans, physical therapy, and pain score data were then analyzed.
The MRI data for all the patients in this series showed significant positive changes. Probable bone formation was clear in the patients with osteonecrosis, and cartilage regeneration in the patients with osteoarthritis. Along with MRI evidence, the measured physical therapy outcomes, subjective pain, and functional status all improved. Autologous mesenchymal stem cell injection, in conjunction with hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma and calcium chloride, is a promising minimally invasive therapy for osteonecrosis of femoral head and, with low-dose dexamethasone, for osteoarthritis of human knees.