Now is an exciting time to be an orthopedic physician as more and more innovative methods become available to help patients restore their bodies after an injury or condition. One of the most game-changing of these methods is known as “orthobiologics.” What are orthobiologic solutions, and how can they be used to help you?
How It Works
The process behind orthobiologics actually begins with your own body. When you sustain an injury -- even a minor one, like a cut or scratch -- your body immediately begins calling on new cells to help repair the damage. A specific protein known as a “growth factor” stimulates the growth of whichever type of cell is needed to heal the affected tissue or cartilage. Some of these cells will be stem cells, which have the unique ability to become any type of cell. This makes them invaluable to the healing process.
The field of orthobiologics harnesses that natural healing power. During orthobiologic treatment, your doctor will collect blood or bone marrow from your own body, isolate the healing factors from them, then re-inject the concentrate into your affected area. By directly placing an optimized, concentrated version of your body’s natural healing material, we can significantly accelerate that healing process.
PRP Therapy and BMAC
While this is the overall concept behind orthobiologics, there are several types of therapies that fall under the orthobiologics umbrella, each with its own applications and benefits. At OAA, we offer two common orthobiologic therapies:
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections (PRP): During PRP therapy, your doctor will draw your own (autologous) blood which will then be spun in a sterile centrifuge. The platelets will be separated and concentrated from the rest of the plasma. Then, your doctor will reinject the sample into your affected tissue, stimulating the healing process. PRP can be used for both acute injuries and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
- Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC): The process behind BMAC injections is similar to PRP, but instead of plasma, BMAC focuses on mesenchymal stem cells found naturally in your own (autologous) bone marrow to stimulate the healing process. Bone marrow is aspirated and then spun in the sterile centrifuge and the concentrate is injected into the problem area. BMAC is particularly useful for tears and cartilage damage. It is commonly used to treat arthritic joints like the knees, hips, shoulders, etc.
How Orthobiologics Can Help
The team of board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at OAA utilizes orthobiologics to treat a wide range of conditions. We also use orthobiologics to support other treatments, as well as to aid in recovery from injuries and certain surgeries.
Some of the most common applications we find for orthobioloics at OAA include:
- Spine / Degenerative Disc Disease
- Tendinopathies (shoulder, hip, elbow, knee, etc.)
- Acute ligament injuries (ankle, knee sprains)
The Difference Orthobiologics Can Make
One of the most exciting aspects of orthobiologic solutions is their ability to improve recovery outcomes for our patients and, in some cases, potentially even avoid a need for surgery. Patients who have utilized PRP or BMAC as part of their treatment plan tend to show significantly quicker progress in their recovery with less pain, cost, and hospital time than those who do not. Because orthobiologics have such a broad application, we’re able to offer this support to a wide range of patients with a variety of conditions and injuries.
Orthobiologics is a growing field, and we understand you may have more questions. At OAA, our fellowship-trained, board-certified team is highly-trained in the use of , and we’re happy to discuss your possibilities further with you.
At OAA, we’re proud to have board-certified orthopedists who are experienced in the broad application of PRP and BMAC. If you’re ready to start finding relief, your appointment with OAA today or call (610) 973-6200 for more information.