BACKGROUND: The ability to repair tissue via percutaneous means may allow interventional pain physicians to manage a wide variety of diseases including peripheral joint injuries and osteoarthritis. This review will highlight the developments in cellular medicine that may soon permit interventional pain management physicians to treat a much wider variety of clinical conditions and highlight an interventional case study using these technologies
OBJECTIVE: To determine if isolated and expanded human autologous mesenchymal stem cells could effectively regenerate cartilage and meniscal tissue when percutaneously injected into knees.
DESIGN: Case Study
SETTING: Private Interventional Pain Management practice.
METHODS: An IRB approved study with a consenting volunteer in which mesenchymal stem cells were isolated and cultured ex-vivo from bone marrow aspiration of the iliac crest. The mesenchymal stem cells were then percutaneously injected into the subjectís knee with MRI proven degenerative joint disease. Pre- and post-treatment subjective visual analog pain scores, physical therapy assessments, and MRIs measured clinical and radiographic changes.
RESULTS: At 24 weeks post-injection, the patient had statistically significant cartilage and meniscus growth on MRI, as well as increased range of motion and decreased modified VAS pain scores.
CONCLUSION: The described process of autologous mesenchymal stem cell culture and percutaneous injection into a knee with symptomatic and radiographic degenerative joint disease resulted in significant cartilage growth, decreased pain and increased joint mobility in this patient. This has significant future implications for minimally invasive treatment of osteoarthritis and meniscal injury.