The use of biologics in the orthopedic field has increased over the last few years, namely stem cell injections in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. With more patients becoming aware of this treatment modality, the question of how effective stem cells are often arises. In order to do this, we have our patients undergoing knee joint stem cell injections complete an Oxford Knee Score handout. This Patient-Reported questionnaire has been used since 1996 to assess total knee replacement outcomes. It consists of 12 questions covering patient’s knee function, pain, and ability to perform certain tasks. Outcome scores range from severe knee arthritis (score of 0) to satisfactory joint function (score of 48).
Stem cell injections are expected to delay a total knee replacement for 2-8 years, so we use the outcome scores in the same way: to evaluate the success of a stem cell injection. Patients complete the handout before their injection, as well as at 3-months, 6-months, and 1-year post-injection. Reported scores within the last year are shown in the graph below. As you can see, majority of post-injection scores increased at their 3-month check-up. Continuing the documentation of patient scores up to 1 year post-injection can help support the benefit of stem cells in knee osteoarthritis in terms of improved function and reduced pain. For ongoing study purposes, we plan to implement these results in furthering the use of stem cells in not only arthritic knees, but shoulders and hip joints, as well.
To see an example of the Oxford Knee Score questionnaire, please click on the links below.