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Osteoarthritis of the knee is one the most common sources of chronic pain due to altered joint function.1 Current treatment modalities offer short term relief of symptoms but lack long term aid and regenerative properties.1 Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) offer regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties and can be collected from umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue, or bone marrow.4 The three studies included were all randomized controlled trials within the past 10 years that each utilized more than 30 participants who had a diagnosis of osteoarthritis and a mean age above 50 years old. MSCs were compared to corticosteroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, and placebo. Primary results were assessed using symptom evaluation indices such as Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). All treatment modalities showed some level of symptom relief at six months; however, MSCs demonstrated continuing and improving scores at 12 months while all other treatment modalities decreased or returned to near baseline levels. Further investigation with larger sample sizes and longer follow up intervals are warranted to fully confirm the benefits of MSCs in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
Avery B, Gray J. Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Osteoarthritis of the Knee. 2022