Send to

Choose Destination
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2007 Feb;15(2):226-31. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Treatment of a full-thickness articular cartilage defect in the femoral condyle of an athlete with autologous bone-marrow stromal cells.

Author information

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.



Human bone-marrow stromal cells are believed to be multipotent even in adults. This study assessed the effectiveness of autologous bone-marrow stromal cells, which were embedded within a collagen scaffold, to repair a full-thickness articular cartilage defect in the medial femoral condyle of an athlete.


A 31-year-old male judo player suffering from pain in the right knee was reviewed. A 20 x 30-mm full-thickness cartilage defect (International Cartilage Repair Society classification (ICRS) grade IV) was revealed in the weight-bearing area of the medial femoral condyle. With the informed consent of the patient, the defect was treated with autologous bone-marrow stromal cells. Bone marrow was aspirated from the iliac crest of the patient 4 weeks before surgery. After removing the erythrocytes, the remaining cells were expanded in culture. Adherent cells were collected and embedded within a collagen gel, which was transferred to the articular cartilage defect in the medial femoral condyle. The implant was covered with an autologous periosteal flap.


Seven months after surgery, arthroscopy revealed the defect to be covered with smooth tissues. Histologically, the defect was filled with a hyaline-like type of cartilage tissue which stained positively with Safranin-O. One year after surgery, the clinical symptoms had improved significantly. The patient had reattained his previous activity level and experienced neither pain nor other complications.


Our findings indicate that the transplantation of autologous bone-marrow stromal cells can promote the repair of large focal articular cartilage defects in young, active patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center