For better or for worse, healthcare is always changing.
Two orthopedic surgeons connected with Becker's to discuss the healthcare disruptors they are most excited about.
Ask Orthopedic Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting orthopedic care. We invite all orthopedic surgeon and specialist responses.
Next question: What will the orthopedic surgery landscape look like 10 years from now?
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Note: These responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Daniel George, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon with the Center for Bone and Joint Care (Putnam, Conn.): I've been a practicing orthopedic spine surgeon for 32 years and I am most excited about recent advancements in implant and biomaterial technology. For decades, the orthopedic world has concentrated on the strength and biomechanical properties of implants without adequately considering the cellular and physiologic response the body has to these implants. This is the reason that titanium and PEEK have remained the status quo in spinal surgery, despite shortcomings. Finally, new implants have been developed that not only retain desired biomechanical properties but additionally create a highly favorable cellular and immunologic response at the surgical site. This response controls inflammation and promotes healing, which translates into better clinical outcomes. The most exciting of these implants is ZFUZE from DiFusion Technologies.
Kevin Parvaresh, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist with Hoag Orthopedic Institute (Irvine, Calif.): I'm excited to see the expansion of biologic injections as a treatment for orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions in the future. Much of the early research has been promising on the beneficial effects of biologic injections in treating a wide spectrum of pathology. This includes everything from routine sports injuries to chronic conditions such as advanced arthritis.
The value of biologic injection treatment is vast, as it is a simple office procedure and has very few side effects. As we identify potential biologic markers, we may even be able to utilize patient-specific genetic conditions that can further improve our results. It will be exciting to see new research in this area to improve the quality of life for our patients.