New and exciting research out of the Duke University Health System has found promise in using regenerative cell therapy for preventing osteoarthritis after a joint injury. Doctors have known for years that injuring a joint greatly increases the chance of developing a form of osteoarthritis known as post-traumatic arthritis, or “PTA”. Until recently, there were no known treatments that modified or slowed the progression of this type of arthritis.
The researchers found that using a specific type of regenerative cell, called a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), delayed the development of post-traumatic arthritis in mice with fractures. The scientists hypothesized that these regenerative cells would work to prevent PTA by altering the balance of inflammation and regeneration in knee joints, partly because these cells have known beneficial properties in other regions of the body.
These new findings support previous scientific articles that have found this type of therapy to be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis and cartilage defects in other animal models. While more research is needed to determine the efficacy of this treatment in human subjects, it opens the door even wider for the unlimited potential of regenerative medicine such as bone marrow concentrate and platelet rich plasma (PRP) in healing orthopedic injuries non-surgically!