Stem Cell Assisted Knee Surgery

Stem Cell Assisted Knee Surgery


Undergoing knee surgery typically entails a significant amount of time off work, lengthy rehab and potential complications short or long term depending on the procedure received. Common knee procedures include partial or total knee replacement, ACL reconstruction, partial meniscus removal, meniscus repair and other soft tissue repairs.


Did you know that removal of part of your meniscus predisposes you to eventual arthritis? The meniscus is a powerful shock absorber in the knee, serving a critical role during all of your activities. Therefore, keeping as much of it as possible will decrease the incidence of arthritis down the road.


In fact, several studies have shown that biologic augmentation with stem cell material after a partial meniscectomy improves patient outcomes. One study by Vangsness et al in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery showed stem cell augmentation to be safe and help with meniscus regeneration.


Post-operative MRI’s showed evidence of meniscus regeneration and improvement in knee pain following stem cell injections along with surgery. Patients had better pain reduction post-operatively and also if arthritis was present.


Additional studies have shown the benefits of stem cell assisted surgery for cartilage defects in the knee. The defect may have occurred from a sports injury, car accident or other trauma. Adding stem cells to the cartilage repair in several studies amplified the healing and reduced the rehab time frame.


For surgeries that involve a soft tissue reconstruction such as for an ACL or a collateral ligament, biologic augmentation with stem cells makes perfect sense. While studies are underway for these surgeries, we already have several studies showing stem cells increase rotator cuff repair close to 100% success. In addition, these studies showed long term success rates for these repairs that are double those with conventional repair.


We know that when soft tissue repair occurs naturally, it never obtains 100% healing. It’s a function of the body’s inability to properly cross-link collagen and other factors. Regenerative biologics have been able to improve the body’s ability to heal soft tissues, which can improve the surgical outcome and negate the need for additional surgery down the road.


Think about this – if an athlete heals soft tissue injury close to 100% it may prevent future injury. This can make the difference between a recurrent ACL tear while skiing, playing basketball or soccer.

When it comes to partial or total knee replacement, the main assistance from stem cell augmentation comes from wound repair. Infection often occurs when wounds do not heal properly, and scar tissue results all too often in reduced range of motion and pain. Stem cell biologics include a host of additional elements including growth factors, cytokines, exosomes, secretomes, mRNA and more.


This “orchestra” of components facilitates wound healing and typically overcomes compromise from diabetes, smoking or other factors. In addition, the material acts as a barrier to scar tissue. This helps patients gain improved range of motion, a lower infection rate and a less noticeable scar!

Usage of stem cell materials during surgery is covered by one’s insurance. Procedures at all Stem Cell Assisted SurgeryTM Certified Centers involves amniotic and umbilical cord material. These materials are safe and come from consenting donors after a scheduled C-section. No babies are harmed, and the materials are processed at an FDA regulated facility.


Hundreds of thousands of procedures with these materials have been performed safely in the US to date. If you or a loved one has significant knee pain and would like a complimentary consultation regarding stem cell assisted knee surgery, call us today!



  • Vangsness et al, Adult human mesenchymal stem cells delivered via intra-articular injection to the knee following partial medial meniscectomy: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014 Jan 15;96(2):90-8. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.M.00058.


  • Buda, R, F. Vannini,M. Cavallo, B. Grigolo, A. Cenacchi, and S. Giannini, “Osteochondral lesions of the knee: a new one-step repair technique with bone-marrow-derived cells,” Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery—Series A, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 2–11, 2010.


  • Gobbi, A, G. Karnatzikos, C. Scotti, V. Mahajan, L. Mazzucco, and B. Grigolo, “One-step cartilage repair with bone marrow aspirate concentrated cells and collagen matrix in full-thickness knee cartilage lesions: results at 2-year follow-up,” Cartilage, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 286–299, 2011.


  • Gobbi, A, G. Karnatzikos, and S. R. Sankineani, “One-step surgery with multipotent stem cells for the treatment of large full-thickness chondral defects of the knee,” The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 648–657, 2014.
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