The next orthopedic revolution — Andrews' Dr. Steve Jordan on biologics

Written by Eric Oliver | July 31, 2019 | Print  |

Biologics has the potential to be the next transformative tool in the orthopedic surgeon's playbook, but the field still has a ways to go before it becomes a mainstream medicinal offering.

Steve Jordan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, discussed the Institute's biologics' research while offering insights into the promise the treatment holds in an interview for Andrews Institute.

Note: Transcript was edited for style.

Dr. Steve Jordan: We all know that biologics in healthcare, especially in orthopedics and musculoskeletal care, has blown up recently. Stem cell clinics seem to be opening everywhere, and there is online information [on how stem cells] make you younger or make you stronger. Yet, all these promises which may or may not be true.

At Andrews Institute, what we want to do is provide patients evidence-based treatments — and not just provide a treatment because we can. We are focused on providing patients with leading edge, evidence-based treatment options. If we [can] provide a procedure with a patient's own blood products or stem cells that will help them, we want to do it, but we're trying to find out what really works and what doesn't.

We're involved in many regenerative medicine research projects here through the Andrews Research & Education Foundation. We are involved with research studies that focus on trying to make an [anterior cruciate ligament] heal better with the use of biologics, to see if adding stem cells can actually make the ACL heal faster.

We don't know the answers yet, but we have a lot of people that come to Andrews Institute wanting stem cell treatments for their ACL. While we [could] provide them — [we want] to be able to tell the patient that we're providing them [with the treatment] because … we have researched it and feel comfortable providing it as a treatment option. That's what every doctor should do: really look at why they're using the treatment and ask, "Does it really help?"

We all believe that safely harnessing the power of biologics is the next frontier in orthopedics. Thirty to 40 years ago, it was the arthroscope, which certainly has changed the way we deliver care. We think in biologics there may be another revolution. People are using biologics to help you age better, to deal with arthritis and to help ligaments and tendons heal as I've talked about — we think that there's a lot of promise to [biologics], but we're still trying to uncover it.

View the entire Andrews' Institute video series here.

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