Background and purpose—Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), both endogenous and exogenous, enhance chondrocyte proliferation by stimulating collagen type II. Secretome, an MSC derivate, has shown to also provide this mechanism through a paracrine effect. We aimed to evaluate the use of secretome and MSC in the management of early osteoarthritis (OA). Animals and methods—19 (1 control) male sheep (Ovies aries), which were operated on with total lateral meniscectomy to induce knee OA, were divided into 3 groups: the secretome group, hyaluronic acid group, and MSC group. Each group was injected with the respective substances and was evaluated macroscopically and microscopically. The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) score was calculated for all subjects and a descriptive and comparative statistical analysis was undertaken. Results—The macroscopic analysis of the treated groups revealed better OARSI score in the secretome group compared with the other 2 groups. The secretome group showed a significantly better microscopic score compared with the hyaluronic acid group (mean difference [MD] 6.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15–12), but no significant difference compared with the MSC group (MD 1.0, CI–4.8 to 6.8). Conclusion—Intra-articular injection of secretome is effective in managing early-stage osteoarthritis in the animal model compared with hyaluronic acid and has similar efficacy to MSC injection.