1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Frenchay Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, BS16 1LE, UK
2 University College London Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, UK
Cartilage is frequently injured but shows little capacity for repair. Current treatment options include the use of procedures that stimulate repair through the stimulation of subchondral bone marrow and result in the formation of fibrocartilage. There is considerable interest in the use of cell-based treatment strategies and there are limited studies describing the use of mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage repair with promising early results. This paper reviews the current treatment strategies for articular cartilage, describes use of mesenchymal stem cells for articular cartilage repair along with the results of clinical studies, and describes the future direction that these strategies are likely to take.
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