Biological Treatments within the Musculoskeletal Community
Biologics or orthobiologics are used in treatment to enhance tissue healing by stimulating the recovery processes for restoration of local tissue in addition to improving symptoms related to many conditions within orthopaedic and musculoskeletal health care.
The most popular biological treatment modalities currently used in clinical practice include hyaluronic acid, growth factors therapy (PRF), platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and bone marrow aspirate concentrate. These treatments are used to facilitate and signal cells or bioactive growth factors to improve soft tissues by enhanced graft incorporation and strength, gene activation, and many other vital mechanisms, used within tissue healing. Various important growth factors regulate and improve cellular activities, extracellular matrix deposition, and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into fibroblasts (new tissue) in the repair process of damaged of injured tissue.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become an increasingly popular treatment option within the musculoskeletal and orthopaedic community to biologically enhance and stimulate chronic injuries and difficult-to-heal musculoskeletal tissues, by facilitating healing and recovery naturally. Recent literature has demonstrated platelet-rich plasma to have many positive benefits in the treatment of stubborn conditions chronic tendinitis, planter fasciitis, and joint osteoarthritis.
Sports related injuries among professional and recreational athletes are increasingly encountered, and demand for quick return to sporting activities is always required. “Orthobiologics”, refers to the use of biological substances to help orthopaedic conditions and musculoskeletal injuries heal and recover faster. Orthobiological treatment is often used to improve the healing of fractured bones and injured soft tissues, and are derived from substances that are naturally found in the body, are used in very high concentrations to enable faster recovery.
Common substances such as autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) delivers a high concentration of bioactive growth factors to the targeted areas to stimulate the repair process. The recruited stem cells are unique in the sense that they provide a replenishment to the dead or dying cells which need regenerative stimulation.
Orthobiologic Treatment Advantages
The main osteopathic principle is that the body works as a whole unit. More specific to the musculoskeletal system - bones and joints make up the skeletal frame, and the muscles are ligaments allow for effective movement. While the muscle cells have a very good blood supply, they lack the ability to regenerate after injury, whereas, tendons have a reduced blood supply, hence injuries to these areas are notorious for inadequate healing and chronicity. These chronic conditions are believed to be a result of overuse, which occurs as a result of multiple micro-trauma events that cause disruption of the internal structure of the tendon and degeneration of the cells and matrix.
This type of injury is seen in many forms of chronic tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, patellar tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis. Orthobiologic treatment has the prime advantage in stimulating these difficult to heal tissue.
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