Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida have conducted what is stated to be the world's first prospective, blinded and placebo-controlled clinical study to test the benefit of using bone marrow stem cells to reduce arthritic pain and disability in knees.
It is the first time that the belief that stem cells can provide substantial and possible regenerative relief in an ailing joint has been put to the test in such a rigorous fashion. The results have been reported in The American Journal of Sports Medicine this year. Patients not only had a dramatic improvement in the knee that received stem cells, but also in their other knee, which also had painful arthritis but received only a saline control injection. Each of the 25 patients enrolled in the study had two bad knees, but did not know which knee received the stem cells.