“Stem cell therapy could hold one of the major keys to the future of pain management and tissue regeneration.”
– Dr. Damon Noto
A recent study published in Jan. 2014, has shown promising results in using stem cell therapy to improve function and provide pain relief for patients with knee pain.
The research study involved 55 patients with knee pain, ages 18 to 60, who underwent a partial medial meniscectomy (the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus- the crescent-shaped pieces of cartilage that disperse friction in the knee joint between the thighbone and shinbone).
The patients received a single superolateral knee injection of human mesenchymal stem cells 7 days to 10 days after the meniscectomy. Group A (18) received a lower dose (50 million), Group B (18) received a higher dose (150 million) and the results were compared to Group C (19 who only received sodium hyaluronate injection visco-supplementation, which is similar to the lubricating fluid that occurs naturally in the knee joint).
Group A and B both demonstrated great reduction in pain scores. No reduction in pain scores in Group C. At one year, an MRI revealed 24% of the patients in group A and 6% of the patients in group B met the 15% increase in meniscal volume threshold, while none of the patients in Group C achieved a significant change in meniscal volume.
No abnormal tissue formation was observed with the human mesenchymal stem cells injections. The results demonstrated that high doses of mesenchymal stem cells can be safely delivered in a concentrated manner to a knee joint.
These research results further supported the regenerative and protective effect of human mesenchymal stem cells on human tissue. We can now bring our focus beyond the surgical reconstruction and step into the future of noninvasive biologic regeneration.
1. C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., MD. et al. Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee, Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, January 2014