J Orthop Surg Res. 2022 Jun 11;17(1):310. doi: 10.1186/s13018-022-03196-0.
BACKGROUND: In knee osteoarthritis, progressive degeneration of the articular cartilage surface produces disability and chronic pain. Intra-articular injections of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) could be an innovative approach to manage patients with early knee osteoarthritis.
METHODS: Between June 2019 and November 2020, 123 patients were recruited to receive intra-articular injection of SVF. Radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease was classified according to Kellgren and Lawrence grades. Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS) and visual analog scale (VAS) were collected preoperatively, at 1 month, and after 6 months from injection.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant improvement of KOOS and VAS of all patients to 6 months (p < 0.05). The mean KOOS before injection was 51.4 ± 16.5, after 1 month it was 75.5 ± 15.8, and at 6 months it was 87.6 ± 7.7. Stratifying the mean KOOS according to Kellgren-Lawrence Grades, the difference remained statistically significant (p < 0.05). The patients’ mean VAS before injection was 6.5, after 1 month it was 3.5, and after 6 months it was 2.4. No complications were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Intra-articular knee injection of SVF is safe and effective to ameliorate the clinical and functional scores in patients with early knee osteoarthritis for 6 months.