Purpose: As a treatment method of degenerative arthritis of knee, this study evaluated the clinical efficacy of the intra-articular injection of autologous bone marrow aspirates concentrate (BMAC) with adipose tissue.
Materials and methods: Between April 2011 and May 2012, 41 patients (75 knees) who were diagnosed as a degenerative knee arthritis and underwent the BMAC injection with adipose tissue were included in this study. Mean age was 60.7 years old (ranged 53–80). Kellgren–Lawrence grade was used for assessing radiologic degree of osteoarthritis; there were each 12, 24, 33, and 6 cases of grade I, II, III, and IV. At preoperative and postoperative 3, 6, and 12 months, pain score using visual analogue scale (VAS) and functional scales were used for evaluation.
Results: After the procedure, mean VAS score was decreased from 7.0 pre-operatively to 4.1, 3.5, and 3.3 post-operatively 3, 6, and 12 months. And functional scores were also improved; International Knee Documentation Committee score (from 37.7 pre-operatively to 59.3, 66.3, 69.3 post-operatively), SF-36 health score (from 31.5 to 43.5, 45.6, 47.7), knee and osteoarthritis outcome score (from 43.1 to 64.9, 68.5, 70.6), Lysholm Knee Questionnaire (from 37.3 to 65.4, 68.6, 71.0) were all increased after the procedure. When classified according to K–L grade, the improvement of VAS score in grade IV group was 8.2 pre-operatively to 5.5, 5.3, and 5.7 post-operatively, which was significantly poorer than those of grade I–III groups. In the knee functional scales, similar pattern was checked.
Conclusions: BMAC injection significantly improved both knee pain and functions in the patients with degenerative arthritis of knee. Also, the injection would be more effective in early to moderate phases.