Optimizing Joint Health: The Role of Regenerative Medicine in Treating Osteoarthritis

By April 15, 2024 May 22nd, 2024 No Comments

Have you ever wondered why joint injuries are so hard to heal? Imagine your body as a bustling city and your joints as the busy intersections. Now, what if those intersections were without maintenance crews? That’s what happens in your joints when they are damaged, particularly with osteoarthritis. In this article, we’ll explore how cutting-edge treatments are turning the tide against this debilitating condition.

What is Cartilage?

Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue that plays a crucial role in the function of our joints. Unlike other tissues in the body, cartilage lacks blood vessels, making nutrient delivery and repair processes challenging.

Challenges of Cartilage Repair

Due to its avascular nature, cartilage heals very slowly. The cells responsible for its maintenance, called chondrocytes, cannot easily migrate to damaged areas, making natural repair a slow and inefficient process

Understanding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of cartilage, particularly affecting areas like the knees, hips, and hands. It leads to pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility. With age, the incidence of osteoarthritis increases, affecting over 50% of people over 65 years.

The Promise of Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine offers new hope in managing osteoarthritis by potentially restoring damaged tissues and improving joint function without the need for invasive surgeries.

Spotlight on Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in maintaining joint lubrication and cushioning. Its therapeutic injections have been shown to alleviate pain and improve joint mobility in osteoarthritis patients.

The Power of Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is derived from the patient’s own blood and is rich in growth factors that can accelerate the healing of injured tissues, including damaged joint cartilage.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Focus

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are powerhouse cells capable of differentiating into bone, cartilage, and muscle cells. Their application in joint health looks promising in not only alleviating symptoms but also in regenerating damaged tissues.

Integrating Treatments for Better Outcomes

Combining hyaluronic acid, PRP, and MSCs has shown improved outcomes in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, suggesting a synergistic effect that enhances joint repair and pain management.

Role of Integrative Practice Solutions and Juventix

Integrative Practice Solutions and Juventix Regenerative Medical are at the forefront of developing and applying these advanced treatments, providing innovative solutions to those suffering from joint disorders.

Key Studies on Regenerative Treatments

Recent studies, such as those published in major medical journals in 2022 and 2024, highlight the effectiveness of these combined therapies in improving patient outcomes in osteoarthritis.

Combination of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Platelet Rich Plasma in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

BMJ Open 2022 Nov 16;12(11):e061008 PMID 36385022

Objectives: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells combined with platelet rich plasma in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Conclusions: 493 cases were reviewed and concluded that treatment with mesenchymal stem cells with platelet rich plasma showed good clinical efficacy in improving pain and joint function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Effects and Safety of the Combination of Platelet Rich Plasma and Hyaluronic Acid in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

BMC Musculoskelet Discord 2020 Apr 11;21(1):224 PMID 32278352

Background: Studies have shown that the combination of hyaluronic acid and platelet rich plasma can repair degenerated cartilage and delay the progression of knee osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy and safety of the intra articular injection of PRP combined with HA compared with either alone in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

Conclusion: 941 patients were included in this analysis. Compared with intra articular injection of PRP alone, that of PRP combined with HA can improve function scores and follow up ratings.

Intra-Articular Injections of Platelet Rich Plasma, Adipose Mesenchymal Stem Cells, and Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Associated with Better Outcomes than Hyaluronic Acid and Saline in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Arthroscopy 2021 Jul;37(7):2298-2314 PMID 33713757

Purpose: To perform a network meta-analysis to evaluate clinical efficacy and treatment related adverse events of intra articular hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma, mesenchymal stem cells and saline at 6 and 12 months of follow up.

Conclusions: Based on the results of current research findings during 6 months of follow up, mesenchymal stem cells relieved the pain the best and PRP was the most effective for functional improvement. In HA viscosupplementation, clinical efficacy was lower than that of the biological agents during follow up which may be related to the properties of the drug.

Note: These combinations aid in the treatment but do they regenerate cartilage which degeneration of cartilage is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis?

Modified Mesenchymal Stem Cell, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Hyaluronic Acid Intervention in Early Stage Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review, Meta Analysis, and Meta Regression of Arthroscopic-Guided Intra articular Approaches

PLoS One 2024 Mar 8;19(3):e0295876 PMID 38457479

Background: Mesenchymal stem cells hold promise for osteoarthritis treatment, potentially enhanced by combining with platelet rich plasma and hyaluronic acid. This study aimed to assess the synergy of MSCs, PRP and HA and determine optimal MSC sources to treat early-stage OA.


In this landmark study, bone marrow harvest resulted in poor structural quality of the repaired cartilage. The author used mesenchymal stem cells which were harvested from synovial membranes. He stated, “the potential of synovial mesenchymal stem cells can be maximized by combining with other regenerative agents including Platelet Rich Plasma and Hyaluronic Acid”.

Optimizing Treatment Strategies

Selecting the right combination of therapies and timing them correctly is crucial for maximizing treatment efficacy and patient outcomes.

Integrative Practice Solutions
 and Juventix Regenerative Medical have been involved in regenerative therapies for years. Starting with Hyaluronic Acid injections administered by fluoroscopic guidance, unloading bracing and physical therapies, IPS was in the forefront of osteoarthritis treatment. The story continued with the formation of Juventix Regenerative Medical. Regenerative therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Rich Fibrin were perfected as far as cost, safety and ease of office use. Many services, devices and applications have been added over the years as the field of regenerative treatment and aesthetics is in a constant flux. Collaboration with leaders in the field on tissue biologics has been included so Juventix can offer these products to our regenerative providers.

As we continue to advance in medical technology and understanding, the future of osteoarthritis treatment looks brighter. Regenerative medicine is leading the way, offering hope and improved quality of life for patients struggling with this chronic condition.