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Mesenchymal Stem Cell Injections Improve Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis *

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and imaging results of patients who received intra-articular injections of autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Methods

The study group comprised 18 patients (6 men and 12 women), among whom the mean age was 54.6 years (range, 41 to 69 years). In each patient the adipose synovium was harvested from the inner side of the infrapatellar fat pad by skin incision extension at the arthroscopic lateral portal site after the patient underwent arthroscopic debridement. After stem cells were isolated, a mean of 1.18 × 106 stem cells (range, 0.3 × 106 to 2.7 × 106 stem cells) were prepared with approximately 3.0 mL of platelet-rich plasma (with a mean of 1.28 × 106 platelets per microliter) and injected into the selected knees of patients. Clinical outcome was evaluated with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, the Lysholm score, and the visual analog scale (VAS) for grading knee pain. We also compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data collected both preoperatively and at the final follow-up.

Results

Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scores decreased significantly (P < .001) from 49.9 points preoperatively to 30.3 points at the final follow-up (mean follow-up, 24.3 months; range, 24 to 26 months). Lysholm scores also improved significantly (P < .001) by the last follow-up visit, increasing from a mean preoperative value of 40.1 points to 73.4 points by the end of the study. Likewise, changes in VAS scores throughout the follow-up period were also significant (P = .005); the mean VAS score decreased from 4.8 preoperatively to 2.0 at the last follow-up visit. Radiography showed that, at the final follow-up point, the whole-organ MRI score had significantly improved from 60.0 points to 48.3 points (P < .001). Particularly notable was the change in cartilage whole-organ MRI score, which improved from 28.3 points to 21.7 points (P < .001). Further analysis showed that improvements in clinical and MRI results were positively related to the number of stem cells injected.

Conclusions

The results of our study are encouraging and show that intra-articular injection of infrapatellar fat pad–derived mesenchymal stem cells is effective for reducing pain and improving knee function in patients being treated for knee osteoarthritis.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-03-2017
Authors: Yong-Gon Koh M.D., Seung-Bae Jo M.D., Oh-Ryong Kwon M.D., Dong-Suk Suh M.D., Seung-Woo Lee M.D., Sung-Ho Park M.D., Yun-Jin Choi M.D.
Source: Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery, Volume 29, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 748-755