Osteoarthritis is the degeneration or breakdown of cartilage on the surface of bone in the joint. This cartilage serves as a shock absorber. Osteoarthritis can be caused by trauma, increased impact activity, overuse, genetic predisposition, obesity and is more common in women and the elderly. When the cartilage degenerates, this can cause pain, stiffness, swelling with increased activity, bone spurs and grinding or cracking with joint motion.


In a study published in the Journal of Arthroscopy in 2013, Koh et al. injected the osteoarthritic knees in 18 patents with a mean age of 55 with fat­derived stem cells. Mean follow up was two years. Results showed significant improvement in pain, function and on MRI.

Koh YG, Jo SB, Kwon OR, Suh DS, Lee SW, Park SH, Choi YJ (2013) Mesenchymal stem cell injections improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy 29(4): 748-­755

Kim et al. published clinical outcomes of bone marrow­ derived stem cells in the European Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology in 2014. 75 knees with a mean age of 61 were followed for 1 year after injection. Knee pain and function was significantly improved with 71% of patients reporting a satisfactory result.

Kim JD, Lee GW, Jung GH, Kim CK, Kim T, Park JH, Cha SS, You YB(2014) Clinical outcome of autologous bone marrow aspirates concentrate (BMAC) injection in degenerative arthritis of the knee. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 24:1505­-1511

Review article covering the use of MSC’s in cartilage regeneration.

Kristhansson, B, Honsawek, S, Current perspectives in mesenchymal stem cell therapies for osteoarthritis. Stem Cells International Volume 2014.