Cartilage problems are among the most common problems in bone and joint problems. Left untreated, may result in the development of osteoarthritis, with a big impact on the quality of life in the long term.
The present-date treatment such as microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation has shown only a modest degree of success. Despite the variety of available techniques, the effectiveness of these in terms of preventing or delaying the development of osteoarthritis is questionable.
Stem cell treatment have been suggested as a promising new era for cartilage disorders. A special characteristics of the stem cells, for example their potential to change to cartilage cells and also to support healing made them a fruitful candidate for non surgical treatment of cartilage problems, which has poor healing capacity.
As shown in picture, there is an exponential growth in the number of published research regarding to stem cell use in cartilage disorders. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that have been isolated from a variety of tissue types, including synovium, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and fat tissue. MSCs have been observed to develope to bone, tendon, cartilage cells, muscle making them of great importance of non surgical treatment for bone and joint.
Several carriers have also been successfully used with MSCs such as, platelet rich fibrin glue abd collagen scaffold. All patients experienced improvement in clinical scores in platelet rich fibrin treatment with MSCs. In another study,a type I collagen scaffold was used as a carrier for MSCs in two patients with bone graft sutured on top. Both KOOS and IKDC score improved significantly after surgery at 30 months follow up.
Finally, a recent randomized trial used MSCs for patients with osteoarthritis. It was suggested that MScs resulted in improvement in cartilage quality, pain and quality of life as evaluated by MRI compared to hyarulonic acid. Based on these data, use of MSCs can be a viable solution for focal cartilage who prefer non-invasive treatment.
"Update on mesenchymal stem cell therapies for cartilage disorders" Nikolaos K Paschos and Mackenzie L Sennett,World J Orthop. 2017 Dec 18; 8(12): 853–860.