Latest treatment for Osteoarthritis
What other therapies are being used or developed for Osteoarthritis?
• Autologous chondrocyte implantation. Matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation has had promising results in initial clinical studies. More commonly utilized in younger patients with smaller cartilage defects.
• Abrasion and microfracture surgery. Microdrilling of subchondral bone releases autologous mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow that attempt to repair the osteoarthritic cartilage.
• Injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP, defined as a volume of plasma with a platelet count above baseline. Venous blood is drawn from the patient and centrifuged to obtain PRP, which is then injected into the patient’s joint. Theoretically, when the injected platelets degranulate, several factors are released, including transforming growth factor beta, platelet-derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor. These factors may inhibit inflammation, offer chondroprotection, and increase cartilage synthetic activity. There is a lack of high-quality data supporting this practice at present.
• Mesenchymal stem cell injections. Intraarticular injection of mesenchymal stem cells have had inconsistent results thus far, with a need for higher-quality studies.
• Genicular nerve block. Cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA) of the branches of the genicular nerve (knee) has shown benefit in a randomized controlled trial compared with steroid injection. CRFA to other nerve sites has been evaluated in patients with sacroiliac and discogenic lumbar pain as well.
Many compounds have been tried in OA, with little success. Ongoing research to find a disease-modifying OA drug remains a high priority, given the number of patients affected by OA.