HSS Launching Study of Stem Cell Treatment in Patients with Knee OA

    Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) are recruiting patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis (OA) for a study on the safety and efficacy of stem cells in treating knee OA.

    The multi-center study will divide patients into 3 groups who will receive an injection of 1 of the following:

    • Stem cells
    • Hyaluronic acid
    • Placebo (saline)

    Study participants will have x-rays taken before the injection and again 12 months later. They will also have lab work and will complete questionnaires regarding pain and activity level to determine if they have experienced any pain relief or improved function.

    Follow-up visits after the initial injection will take place at 6 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months.

    The study is open to individuals over 18 with moderate knee OA who meet additional criteria. Those with severe bone-on-bone arthritis are not candidates, nor is anyone who has had knee surgery within the past year.

    Participants must also agree to stop any anti-inflammatory medication they may be taking, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, at least 15 days prior to the injection.

    “Studies have demonstrated that stem cells are safe and can improve healing and reduce symptoms in a number of different applications, such as cardiac surgery and wound healing,” said Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic surgeon at HSS and principal investigator.

    “I have a number of younger patients with arthritis who are looking for a new option, and the stem cell treatment works in a completely different way from current treatments. If it is shown to be safe and effective, slowing down the progression of mild to moderate arthritis, we’ll be able to help a lot of patients.”