Role of Scaffolds, Subchondral, Intra-Articular Injections of Fresh Autologous Bone Marrow Concentrate Regenerative Cells in Treating Human Knee Cartilage Lesions: Different Approaches and Different Results
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, EpiCURA Hospital, 7331 Baudour, Belgium
Laboratory of Bone and Metabolic Biochemistry, Faculty of Medecine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, UPEC (University Paris-Est, Créteil), 94000 Créteil, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Young-Jin Kim
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22083844
Received: 18 March 2021 / Revised: 2 April 2021 / Accepted: 7 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Substitute Material)
The value of bone marrow aspirate concentrates for treatment of human knee cartilage lesions is unclear. Most of the studies were performed with intra-articular injections. However, subchondral bone plays an important role in the progression of osteoarthritis. We investigated by a literature review whether joint, subchondral bone, or/and scaffolds implantation of fresh autologous bone marrow aspirate concentrated (BMAC) containing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) would improve osteoarthritis (OA). There is in vivo evidence that suggests that all these different approaches (intra-articular injections, subchondral implantation, scaffolds loaded with BMAC) can improve the patient. This review analyzes the evidence for each different approach to treat OA. We found that the use of intra-articular injections resulted in a significant relief of pain symptoms in the short term and was maintained in 12 months. However, the clinical trials indicate that the application of autologous bone marrow concentrates in combination with scaffolds or in injection in the subchondral bone was superior to intra-articular injection for long-term results. The tendency of MSCs to differentiate into fibrocartilage affecting the outcome was a common issue faced by all the studies when biopsies were performed, except for scaffolds implantation in which some hyaline cartilage was found. The review suggests also that both implantation of subchondral BMAC and scaffolds loaded with BMAC could reduce the need for further surgery.