Intra-Articular Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Systematic Review of Clinical Outcomes and Evidence of Cartilage Repair

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to improve pain and function in the setting of knee osteoarthritis with some potential efficacy in cartilage repair seen on MRI and arthroscopy. This is a large systematic review of 17 quality research studies involving mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow, adipose, and umbilical cord blood.

The Takeaway: These results came from studying living cells. Be aware that most amniotic and placental tissue “stem cell” products on the market today are actually vials of sterilized dead tissue that is packaged and stored until sold to various healthcare providers, and often marketed as treatment for conditions which have no evidence to support their claims. Unfortunately, we’re seeing that many health care providers are misusing these products at a high cost to the hopeful consumer. Beware of doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, or any other health care providers claiming to use this same data (supporting the use of LIVE MSCs) to support the use of their dead amnio, cord blood, or placental tissue products as “stem cell therapy” and a cure-all for degenerative and autoimmune diseases. Know the difference! These products do not contain live stem cells, despite them being marketed as such. At IOW, we use your own live stem cells to treat your orthopedic conditions.

Reference:

Chul-Won HA, Et Al. Intra-articular Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Systematic Review of Clinical Outcomes and Evidence of Cartilage Repair. Arthroscopy. 2019 Jan;35(1):277-288.e2.

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