What are Orthobiologics?

What are Orthobiologics?

by Crystal (SU)

You may never have heard the term “orthobiologics,” but chances are that you are familiar with what they are and what they are capable of doing.

Orthobiologics are biological substances organic to the human body that can be used to heal the body of injury and illness. It’s also possible to use high concentrations of orthobiologics to heal broken bones and injured or damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If you have an injury that needs healing, treatments with orthobiologics can speed up the healing process. But what exactly are orthobiologics and are they used in treatment?

Our Body’s Natural Healers

Orthobiologics serve as our body’s natural healing agents and include the following:  

  • Matrix: Matrix materials serve as building blocks. When there is an injury or damage to the body, matrix material builds things like bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Growth factors: Different kinds of protein help the body heal, and each has a unique capability. For example, one protein helps speed up the healing process while another protein controls or slows the healing down.
  • Stem Cells:  Stem cells lay dormant and have no specific function but can be mobilized to turn into other types of cells that the body needs. When you have an injury, stem cells are called to the area to become specialized cells that help in the healing process.

A Strong Team

These three orthobiologics work together to heal the body. The matrix serves as the “house” for stem cells, which cannot grow without the “shelter” that the matrix provides. In this “house” stem cells transform into specialized cells that heal the injured part of the body, whether it is the bone, tendon, ligament, or muscle. Another example is the relationship between growth factors and stem cells. Growth factor proteins call the stem cells to the area in the body where the injury happened; this ensures the stem cells come to the right area in the body and specialize as the right cells the body needs.

Examples of Orthobiologic Treatment

Treatments with orthobiologics focus on using the body’s natural materials to heal itself. While there are a number of orthobiologic treatments available, the two most popular treatments are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy. 

  • PRP therapy involves inserting isolated plasma extracted from a patient’s blood to a specific area in the body to speed up the healing process due to an injury, condition, or surgery. When used in high concentrations, the plasma has natural healing factors that can expedite healing.
  • Stem cell therapy involves extracting the patient’s dormant stem cells, multiplying and transforming them into specialized cells and inserting them into the patient’s body where they take on the characteristics required to heal that specific part of the body.  

Benefits of Orthobiologics

At one time only professional athletes and those seeking boutique medicine received the benefits of orthobiologic medicine. Now, orthobiologics are more widely accessible and sought after by anyone seeking a pain-free, non-invasive, and proven way to heal injury and certain medical conditions.  In fact orthobiologics are used to treat everything from heart disease to hair loss.

If you are interested in learning more about how orthobiologic treatments can treat your condition or symptoms, talk to a doctor today. Dr. Vic Kalman is an orthopaedic surgeon and a regenerative medicine specialist with a wealth of knowledge on stem cell and PRP therapies. If you are interested in learning more about your condition and the treatment options available to you, call 302-529-5500 to make an appointment.