Stem cell injection into knee for cartilage growth and knee pain reduction for knee osteoarthritis
Stem cell injections into the osteoarthritic knee is showing promising results. It helps with building up cartilage that has been degenerated and reducing pain levels in patients.
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Injection of isolated bone marrow-derived MSCs219–222 or of marrow aspirates via arthroscopic debridement223 allowed improvement in visual analog scale pain scores and range of motion219–223 as well as osteoarthritis outcome scores223 in patients at 6–12 months postoperatively. Furthermore, increases in cartilage growth and thickness with decreases in the size of poor cartilage and edematous subchondral (layer of bone just under the cartilage) bone were documented on MRI and by T2 relaxation measurements.219,221,222
Injection of adipose-derived (fat) stem cells using platelet-rich plasma and arthroscopic debridement224,225 or platelet-rich plasma with hyaluronic acid226 yielded improved clinical outcomes using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Lysholm, and visual analog scale pain score in patients between 16 months and 2 years, with an enhanced whole-organ cartilage MRI score224,225 and improved subjective pain score and functional status in patients 3 months postoperatively, along with increased cartilage thickness on MRI.226