Basic science and experimental research on stem cells has increased exponentially in the last decade. Our present knowledge about stem cell biology is better than ever before. This new paradigm shift in research has been reflected in the field of orthopaedic surgery. Various experimental models have suggested a potential application of stem cells for different orthopaedic conditions, and early clinical results of stem cell use have been encouraging. These cells can be easily isolated, processed and made available for clinical use. From healing of bone defects caused by trauma, tumor or infection to cartilage defects, nerve, tendon and ligament healing, stem cell use has the potential to revolutionize orthopaedic practice. The purpose of this article is to orient a general orthopaedic surgeon towards the current use and clinical applications of stem cell based therapy in orthopaedics and to provide a complete overview of the clinical advances in this field.
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