Background: The management of osteoarthritis of the knee runs the spectrum of care from a variety of conservative treatments often culminating in total joint arthroplasty. We initiated a large prospective study to evaluate whether autologous adipose derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF – rich in stem cells) therapy is a safe and effective option.
Methods: A patient funded prospective study of 2,586 patients from a network of physicians participated in an IRB approved study using autologous stromal vascular fraction SVF (ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT10953523). All patients were treated with a standardized surgical protocol to harvest lipoaspirate, isolate and deploy autologous SVF. Data was collected using an online registry and patients were followed-up via an automatic online database collection service.
Results: 2,586 patients were treated. Statistically significant improvement was seen at 1 and 2 years – meaningless pain and greater ease of mobility. There was no difference between male or female outcomes (82% overall improvement). All BMI levels showed improvements though higher BMIs had less improvement. There was no difference in outcomes between SVF alone or with PRP added to SVF. Improvement was the same regardless of payment or receiving free care. There were very few adverse events and those that did occur were largely very minor or easily treatable.
Conclusion: Deployment of autologous SVF represents a simple surgical procedure that can be safely performed in an adequate outpatient environment under straight local anesthesia and demonstrates very good outcomes even in difficult cases of chronic knee arthritis.
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