A paper was presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons meeting last week demonstrating that patients receiving a knee stem cell shot after meniscus surgery generally did better than those receiving a placebo. The stem cell patients had less pain two years after their surgery and a few patients in the MSC group also showed signs of meniscal regeneration. The MSCs were injected in hyaluronic acid (what we call WD-40 for the knee). The downside of the study was that there were only 55 patients in the trial and the patients all had less severe mild and moderate arthritis. The safety of injecting these cells was good and about 1 in 5 patients receiving the stem cells had some evidence of a bigger meniscus on follow-up MRI, similar to the data we had already reported. The upshot? This study shows what we’ve known for years, stem cells can help the knee meniscus. While we have published bigger stem cell studies with more patients followed for longer periods, the advantage of this smaller study is that it’s placebo controlled.
Tags: knee stem cell surgery