What surgeons are saying about regenerative medicine in 2021

Carly Behm -   Print  |
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Regenerative medicine remains a hot topic among spine and orthopedic surgeons. From stem cell treatments to bone grafts, biologic technology is growing, and many surgeons are optimistic.

Here are five key quotes about biologics that Becker's heard from spine and orthopedic surgeons in 2021.

1. "[Biologics in sports medicine] has been a pretty hot field for a number of years, and it's only increasing in popularity. Something that's needed is really standardized research and trials to determine what actually works, and that's even starting from the type of injection to what it is that we're actually administering to the number of injections, and efficacy. It's moving in the right direction, but we're still in need of more high quality controlled studies." — Alexis Colvin, MD, chief medical officer of the U.S. Open

2. "The use of biologics and supplements will transform recovery. We will use preoperative testing to determine what biologics works best for the patient. We will use diet and supplements for every surgical patient to optimize the recovery." — Jason Snibbe, MD, of Snibbe Orthopedics in Los Angeles

3. "Regenerative medicine is a truly exciting frontier in medicine. In orthopedics, bone graft implants and substitutes are helping patients return to normal activities. The implants can be used in index operations as well as revisions for a variety of orthopedic procedures including acute stress reactions, stress fractures not conducive to metal fixation, and subchondral procedures. The evolution of orthopedic implants from metal to plastic, and now bone is improving outcomes for patients and broadening our arsenal as surgeons to help patients heal. The bone graft substitutes are reducing comorbidities of graft harvesting. Additionally, they are adding to the value proposition for patients who may have difficulty healing bone defects, nonunions, and osteoporosis." — Mihir Patel, MD, of OrthoIndy in Indianapolis

4. "What is most exciting to me is our enhanced understanding of spinal biomechanics and materials, and ability to restore, repair and augment function through regenerative means, surgical implants and nondestructive procedures. We are transitioning from removal and reshaping components of the spine through decompressions and fusions, to restoring movement and function by rebuilding tissue and providing biologically active replacements for degenerated or diseased components of the spine." — Ali Mesiwala, MD, of DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport Beach, Calif.

5. "Fortunately, we are living in the 'bio-century.' This means great advances have, and will continue to come from the rapidly evolving field of genomics. Stem cell therapy will enable us to heal injured tissues without surgery in many cases. We are already seeing great strides using concentrated bone marrow aspirate to stabilize degenerative discs and ligaments." — Thomas Schuler, MD, of Virginia Spine Institute in Reston

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