Purpose of Review
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is a common and frequently occurring disease. It is caused by interruption of blood supply with different etiologies. ONFH leads to degeneration and necrosis of the subchondral bone of the femoral head and eventually collapse of the femoral head. ONFH has a high disability rate, seriously affecting the quality of living of patients, and often involves middle-aged and younger people.
In recent years, the technology and understanding of stem cells and regenerative medicine have been developing rapidly. Numerous studies have reported successful results in the treatment of ONFH by stem cell transplantation. Thus, stem cell transplantation is expected to serve as a new method in the treatment of ONFH. In the present report, therefore, we evaluated current techniques and outcomes utilizing stem cells in the treatment of ONFH. A computer-based online search of PubMed and Cochrane Library databases between January 2006 and June 2017 was performed to search related articles using the keywords of “treatment, stem cell, osteonecrosis of the femoral head” in English language. Literature related to the treatment of ONFH was selected.
Our search obtained a total of 161 articles, but only 9 articles met our inclusion criteria and were included in our report. The present review reveals that cell technology has demonstrated good evidence in the treatment of ONFH. However, this technology needs additional in-depth study to better explore and appreciate more ideal ways to overcome difficulties associated with source of cells.