Emerging applications of stem cell and regenerative medicine to sports injuries

David A. Ajibade, Danica D. Vance, Joshua M. Hare, Lee D. Kaplan, Bryson P. Lesniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The treatment of sports-related musculoskeletal injuries with stem cells has become more publicized because of recent reports of high-profile athletes undergoing stem cell procedures. There has been increased interest in defining the parameters of safety and efficacy and the indications for potential use of stem cells in clinical practice. Purpose: To review the role of regenerative medicine in the treatment of sports-related injuries. Study Design: Review. Method: Relevant studies were identified through a PubMed search combining the terms stem cells and cartilage, ligament, tendon, muscle, and bone from January 2000 to August 2013. Studies and works cited in these studies were also reviewed. Results: Treatment of sports-related injuries with stem cells shows potential for clinical efficacy from the data available from basic science and animal studies. Conclusion: Cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine offer safe and potentially efficacious treatment for sports-related musculoskeletal injuries. Basic science and preclinical studies that support the possibility of enhanced recovery from sports injuries using cell-based therapies are accumulating; however, more clinical evidence is necessary to define the indications and parameters for their use. Accordingly, exposing patients to cell-based therapies could confer an unacceptable risk profile with minimal or no benefit. Continued clinical testing with animal models and clinical trials is necessary to determine the relative risks and benefits as well as the indications and methodology of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Regenerative medicine
  • Sports medicine
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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