Biologic Options for Articular Cartilage Wear (Platelet-Rich Plasma, Stem Cells, Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate)
This article reviews biological treatment options for articular cartilage repair, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) and cell-based therapies. Articular cartilage damage is seen most commonly in focal chondral lesions and early osteoarthritis and is a significant concern in the orthopedic community. Biological agents have recently gained popularity in this realm as they are less invasive and expensive compared to surgical options. Such methods also may contain growth factors and/or stem cells that augment recovery and regeneration. Based on this review, few studies have reported outcomes of these treatment options in the management of knee and hip articular cartilage damage, although generally positive outcomes are reported. BMAC may be promising at present; however, the authors of the article report that more research is necessary for all biological options described above to draw definitive conclusions, especially as it pertains to long-term effects.