Biological therapy is used to treat many diseases and conditions associated with tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. It is the process of obtaining specific stem cells from patients, donors, or animals like fish, and reinjecting them into the patient’s disease-affected areas. The harvested stem cells are first spun in a centrifuge, which is a machine that separates plasma cell components so that only the vital plasma is used for the injection.
With an aging active population the incidence of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is increasing. Unfortunately there is a current lack of truly effective non-operative treatment options. Depending on the severity of disease, there is a hierarchy of commonly used management approaches including physical therapy, nutraceuticals, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and injectables including corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma and stem cells. The current blog reviews commonly utilized injectable biologic treatments for symptomatic knee arthritis and introduces the potential utility of joint fluid analysis as a prognostic tool.