Orthobiologics are treatments that use natural materials to help heal injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
Orthobiologic treatments can be used instead of, or in addition to, other forms of treatment such as surgery. They offer a number of benefits over traditional methods, and orthobiologic therapies are becoming increasingly popular.
In this article, I will discuss what orthobiologics are, how they work, and the benefits and risks associated with orthobiologic treatments. I will also provide information on who should consider using orthobiologic treatments and where to find more information about them.
What are orthobiologics and what do they do?
Orthobiologics are materials that are used to promote healing in the body. These materials can be natural, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), or they can be synthetic, such as biodegradable scaffolds.
Orthobiologics are used to treat a variety of injuries and conditions, including:
- Ligament and tendon tears
- Muscle strains or tears
- Cartilage damage
There are a number of orthobiologic agents that are available, and they are often used in combination with each other. The most common orthobiologic agents include:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections: PRP is a concentration of platelets that are found in the blood. Platelets are responsible for clotting, and they also contain growth factors that can promote healing. PRP injections are thought to help repair damaged tissue by providing these growth factors directly to the injury site.
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC): BMAC is a concentration of cells that are found in the bone marrow. These cells contain growth factors that can promote healing. BMAC injections are thought to help repair damaged tissue by providing these growth factors directly to the injury site.
How does it work?
Orthobiologics are injected into the injured area. The orthobiologic agent then begins to work by promoting healing. This can happen in a number of ways, depending on the type of orthobiologic that is used.
For example, PRP and BMAC injections are thought to promote healing by providing growth factors directly to the injury site. These growth factors then help to stimulate the healing process.
Stem cell injections are thought to promote healing by providing the body with new, healthy cells. These cells then help to repair the damaged tissue.
Orthobiologics can be injected into the affected area, or they can be surgically implanted. Injections are typically done on an outpatient basis, while orthobiologic implants may require a short hospital stay.
What are the benefits of orthobiologic treatment?
Orthobiologics are a cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatment option for injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. They offer a number of potential benefits over other forms of treatment.
- Less invasive than surgery
- Less expensive than surgery (though it is typically an out of pocket expense)
- A shorter recovery time than surgery
- The ability to heal injuries that have not responded to other forms of treatment.
Who should consider orthobiologic treatment?
Anyone who has an injury or condition of the musculoskeletal system that has not responded to other forms of treatment may be a candidate for orthobiologic treatment.
Musculoskeletal injuries such as tendinopathies, ligament and tendon tears, muscle strains, and cartilage damage can all be treated with orthobiologics. Arthritis is a common condition that orthobiologics can also be used to treat.
If you are considering orthobiologic treatments for yourself, it is important to discuss your options with an orthopedic surgeon who is qualified and well versed in this field.
If you would like to talk to us about treatment options, please contact my office to schedule an appointment.
Thank you for your interest in orthobiologic treatments!