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• Healthy articular cartilage protects and provides smooth functioning of the joint. The deterioration of the articular cartilage leads to the crippling disease known as osteoarthritis (OA).

• OA is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Although some of the current treatment modalities, along with pharmacological treatment, may offer short term improvement with pain and function, they do not offer long term relief, and are ineffective in preventing the progression of OA.

• In advanced stages, surgery in the form of total knee arthroplasty (TKA), is sometimes needed. This is an invasive procedure and typically requires hospitalization.

• Now, there is a safe and effective modality on the horizon. This minimally invasive treatment is the injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) directly into the affected joint.

• These are multipotent progenitor cells that offer immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory action, have the capacity of self-renewal, and have high plasticity. MSCs can be harvested from the patient themselves, autologous, or can be from a donor, allogeneic.

• A review of the literature suggests treatment of moderate to severe OA of the knee with MSC injections are a viable treatment option when compared to other treatments that include a total knee replacement. MSC s are the only treatment option that have evidence of cartilage regeneration in addition to improvement of functional mobility, pain relief, and overall improvement in quality of life.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Jay Metzger

Publication Date



Comparative Study; Costs and Cost Analysis; Osteoarthritis -- therapy; Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation



Use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

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Orthopedics Commons