Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 Sep 4. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07555-0. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intra-knee stromal vascular fraction (SVF) injection in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis at the midterm (3-year) follow-up.
METHODS: SVF injection was applied to 25 knees of 20 patients. Eighteen patients (90%) were female, and the means ± standard deviations of age was 61.9 ± 7.8 (range, 50-76) years. Patients who received conservative treatment for at least 6 months and had radiographic Kellgren-Lawrence (K-L) grades 2 and 3 varus gonarthrosis were included in the study. SVF was obtained from the umbilical region by liposuction using local anaesthesia. Patients were followed-up for 36 months. Their visual analogue scale (VAS), Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Lysholm scores were evaluated before and at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months post-SVF injection.
RESULTS: A statistically significant improvement (p < 0.05) was observed in VAS, WOMAC and Lysholm scores at the first 2-year follow-up compared to baseline. However, no statistically significant difference (n.s.) was observed in VAS, WOMAC and Lysholm scores at the 3-year follow-up compared with baseline.
CONCLUSION: Intra-articular SVF injection decreased pain and significantly improved the functional outcomes in the first 2 years in knees with grade 2-3 osteoarthritis; however, these positive effects of the injection disappeared in the 3rd year. Although short-term successful results of SVF have been reported in the literature, prospective studies are needed for medium- and long-term results.