Ten patients mean age ≥ 45 years (Sex ratio; 2 male: 3 female) with chronic knee pain unresponsive to conservative treatments and radiologic evidence of degenerative arthritis were treated with autologous bone marrow stem cells by intra-articular injection. Clinical outcomes were observed for six months and included evaluations of pain, disability, and quality of liveliness. Articular cartilage quality was measured by quantitative magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) T2 mapping. Feasibility and safety were confirmed, and strong indications of clinical efficacy were identified. The effects demonstrated the improved function and pain of the knee joint without causing adverse events, and reduced cartilage defects by regeneration of hyaline-like articular cartilage.
The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) at 6 months after SCT from the baseline has been amended significantly in all patients (Figure 01). The mean reduction from the baseline after 6 months was 30% in the treated group, from 55.6 ± 6.4 to 39 ± 3.1.
Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for knee pain significantly decreased since 80.82 ± 3.1 to 45.6 ± 6.3 in patients after six months of therapy (44% decrease) as indicated in Figure 02.
MRI and Histological evaluations demonstrated thick, smooth, hyaline-like cartilage regeneration at six months after BM-SC therapy as indicated in Figure 03.
Functional activity had been increased and graded as “ I can do almost everything that I want to do”. E.g. skiing, karate, etc. No swelling was observed after stem cell therapy.
BM-SC therapy would be a valid alternative treatment for chronic knee osteoarthritis. The intervention is simple, does not require long hospitalization or surgical operation, provides pain relief, and significantly improves cartilage quality.