Review of Research on Same Day Autologous Stem Cell Procedures for Knees


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Women who are in more pain report greater decreases in pain scores and increases in function. Basically, they are about 2-3 times as likely to report better results. Why? Some of this may be an effect of the functional questionnaire itself, in that it was designed to measure the progress of knee replacement patients. Hence, if you have a lot of pain from your arthritis to start, you will show a bigger drop on this type of validated questionnaire. We don’t see the same effect for women vs. men who are not in severe pain to start.

Next up are the three surprising facts unearthed in our registry data-age, body weight, and the severity of arthritis don’t seem to matter. Age is important, as many patients we treat are in their 60s and 70s and they don’t fare any worse than patients in their 30s and 40s. Weight is also important, as many orthopedic procedures don’t work as well in heavy patients (i.e. knee replacement and the knee micro fracture procedure). Finally, there are no clear associations between the severity of your arthritis and the outcome from the procedure. This is surprising, as almost all orthopedic surgical procedures (like knee replacement) don’t work as well on patients with more severe arthritis. This also includes many cartilage repair surgeries. If you look more closely at the linked PDF of the supporting data, you’ll see that there is no clear consistent trend here, although it’s possible that one could emerge at some point.

Finally, patients with multi-joint arthritis (3 or more painful arthritic joints) don’t do as well as patients with fewer joints involved. This makes sense, as their multi-joint arthritis, at some level, is due to a failure of stem cells to keep up with the repair and maintenance of their joints. Hence, using their own stem cells to try to help the joint may be an issue compared to a patient who may have injured one or two joints throughout their lives, but who otherwise has normal stem cell function.