The Growing Demand for Orthobiologic Support for Regenerative Medicine
Stem cells are certainly the medical “flavor of the month,” particularly with a growing aging population that desires to stay young, healthy, and active. In the realm of professional sports, stem cell therapies are attracting more and more attention for orthopedic injuries and soft-tissue strains as a means of extending professional careers and also returning athletes to the field or court of play in a shorter period of time. Regardless of what you have heard about this “technology,” stem cells are here to stay and will become a bigger part of health care, whether you are scoring touchdowns in the Super Bowl or hoping to walk your dog in the park in your retirement years.
It is not uncommon to go through the day and encounter a reference to “stem cell” therapy as a health-care solution, whether you are reading the newspaper, listening to radio or podcast interviews, or even having a casual conversation with friends and colleagues.
Stem cell therapies as they relate to orthopedic injuries fall under the category of orthobiologic interventions. Our clinical and practical involvement with orthobiologics spans several decades. The term “orthobiologics” refers to the use of biological substances to assist in the faster and more complete healing of musculoskeletal injuries. These substances are used to improve the healing of fractured bones and injured muscles, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments, and are obtained from substances that occur naturally in the body. When orthobiologic substances are applied in relatively high concentrations, they can potentially speed up the healing process.
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