To date there are over 28 publications with over 1800 patients reported who have received cell therapy to the knee joint, with longest being for 12 years.
Those publications which looked at efficacy of treatment all reported improvement in symptoms and/or cartilage regeneration (see below). Adipose tissue and SVF are now the preferred option for many Doctors.
A paper presented by Dr Michalek at the 2013 International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science meeting in New York revealed successful results of cell therapy for patients suffering from osteoarthritis, and demonstrated:
Since 2011, a total of 275 patients had been recruited and were followed for up to 24 months to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of freshly isolated SVF cells. At the same time, one to four joints (knees and hips) were injected with SVF cells per patient. A total number of 433 joints were treated.
Within 1-2 weeks from SVF therapy 85% of patients were off the non-steroid analgesics and remained off these analgesics for at least 6 months. After 3 months from SVF therapy, at least 50% clinical improvement was recognized in 95%, at least 75% clinical improvement in 68%, and complete remission in 54% of patients, respectively. Within 1-2 weeks from SVF therapy 85% of patients were off the non-steroid analgesics and remain such for at least 6 months. No serious side effects, infection or cancer was associated with SVF cell therapy.
Semi-quantitative clinical scale evaluation and non-steroid analgesics dependence was used as measurement of the clinical effect. Prior to testing, all patients were diagnosed with stage II-IV osteoarthritis using X-ray and ultrasound, in some cases MRI was also performed to monitor the changes before and after stem cell therapy.
Clinical results and second-look arthroscopic findings after treatment with adipose-derived stem cells for knee osteoarthritis
Almost all patients showed significant improvement in all clinical outcomes at the final follow-up examination. All clinical results significantly improved at 2-year follow-up compared to 12-month follow-up (P < 0.05). Among elderly patients aged >65 years, only five patients demonstrated worsening of Kellgren-Lawrence grade. On second-look arthroscopy, 87.5 % of elderly patients (14/16) improved or maintained cartilage status at least 2 years postoperative. Moreover, none of the patients underwent total knee arthroplasty during this 2-year period.
Osteoarthritis of Hips
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