Fat Tissue Injections for Knee & Shoulder Osteoarthritis: MFAT Treatment UK

Posted on

Fat Tissue Injections for Knee & Shoulder Osteoarthritis: MFAT Treatment UK


In This Article…


  • • We’ll look at how effective fat tissue injections are for the treatment of knee & shoulder
    osteoarthritis (spoilers: they’re super effective and much less riskier than surgery).


  • • We’ll explore the potential of fat tissue injections as an alternative to surgical interventions,


  • • We’ll discuss some of the possible limitations of fat tissue injections


  • • all based on valuable real-life data from 59 patients who received fat injection treatments for
    knee and shoulder osteoarthritis.


Our goal was to assess the efficacy of fat tissue injections in the treatment of pain, stiffness, and loss of function resulting from osteoarthritis.

To that end, we collected before-and-after pain and comfort measures from 59 patients who undertook MFAT (micro-fragmented adipose tissue) injections.

The use of MFAT injections – commercially known as Lipogems, mFat, uFat, and SVF – is a high-potential approach to osteoarthritis treatment, as it is significantly less invasive and may pose lower risks compared to traditional surgery.

The procedure is based on the regenerative properties of fat tissue. Unlike bone marrow or other tissues, it does not lose its healing properties with age.


Surgery For Osteoarthritis: Challenges


Osteoarthritis is an increasingly common condition primarily affecting older demographics and individuals with a higher BMI (body mass index). As it causes cartilage loss, osteoarthritis is associated with pain and swelling in the joints, with extreme cases leading to severe mobility loss.

The most popular current treatment methods are surgical and quite problematic; they are either substantially invasive and associated with high risks of side effects, or simply ineffective:


• Total joint replacement is a type of major surgery used in severe cases of osteoarthritis. It requires a long period of rehabilitation, and frequently includes side effects ranging from pain to bleeding and infection.


• Arthroscopy, the other popular surgical approach, is a less risky procedure – however, it is not a substitute for total joint replacement, and is only used in less severe cases. More recently, research indicates that this approach may be ineffective.


Fat tissue injections have been a growingly popular alternative, but their efficiency hasn’t been
extensively tested yet.

Our work is trying to change that.


Testing The Efficiency Of Fat Tissue Injections


We first extracted fat cells from each patient, with a minimal incision in the midsection followed by superficial, non-injected cell collection using a needle.

Using specialized technology, we then separated the fat cells from blood and other waste products, and micro-fragmented the cells to ensure better absorption and increase overall procedure efficiency. This procedures takes an average of less than 20 minutes, so does not substantially increase intervention time.

We then injected each patient in the affected knee or shoulder joint(s).

We took comprehensive patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) from all patients, both before and after the procedure, at 2, 6, 12, 24, and 52 weeks after the procedure.


Our Results


Across all PROMS we identified significant improvements in pain relief and improved mobility from 2 to 12 weeks, which was maintained at 52 weeks.


There was an inverse correlation between a patient’s BMI and their results. This indicates that overweight patients, while still benefiting from the procedure, may see smaller improvements compared with average-BMI population groups.


Our work strongly indicates that MFAT injections are significantly safer than traditional osteoarthritis surgery. They also lead to significant improvements in pain relief and joint mobility and are associated with far fewer risks.


The treatment of osteoarthritis using fat tissue injections, or MFAT injections, is still not completely free of risks. It may also be less effective for patients with higher BMIs. However, they still remain highly efficient and risk-free compared to other available options.


Key Takeaways


1. Research by The London Cartilage Clinic assessed the efficacy of MFAT (micro-fragmented adipose tissue) injections, a less invasive alternative to traditional surgical treatments for osteoarthritis. These injections utilize the regenerative properties of fat tissue.


2. Osteoarthritis is an increasingly common condition associated with aging and higher BMI, leading to pain, joint swelling, and potentially significant mobility loss. Existing treatments, such as total joint replacement and arthroscopy, can be risky or ineffective.


3. Fat cells were extracted from patients with a minimal incision, followed by the removal of waste products and cell micro-fragmentation. The refined tissue was then injected into the affected joint(s).


4. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) were taken before and after the procedure, at intervals ranging from 2 to 52 weeks. Significant improvements in pain relief and mobility were noted between 2 to 12 weeks, sustained through to 52 weeks.


5. The efficacy of the procedure seemed to be inversely correlated with the patient’s BMI. While overweight patients did see benefits, they were lesser overall than those with an average BMI.


6. MFAT injections appear to be safer than traditional osteoarthritis surgery, leading to substantial improvements in pain relief and joint mobility, with far fewer associated risks.


7. Some limitations exist, such as potential risks associated with the injections, and lesser effectiveness for patients with higher BMIs. Nevertheless, compared to other options, MFAT injections remain significantly more efficient and risk-free.

Wondering if fat tissue injections may be a good solution for your particular situation? Contact us:  cartilage@mskdoctors.com and visit our Fat Cell Therapy page for more information. 
For more information on the team involved in this study: https://londoncartilage.com/london-cartilage-clinic-team/
For additional expertise in treatment of osteoarthritis: https://www.mskdoctors.com/