Physical therapy essential to Andrews Institute's stem cell knee cartilage trial — 3 insights

Written by Eric Oliver | December 08, 2017 | Print  |

Physical therapy is playing an important role in a clinical trial being conducted at Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, where stem cells are being used to regenerate knee cartilage.

Here's what you should know:


1. Adam Anz, MD, is conducting the trial. Three steps are crucial to the trial's success are: the surgical procedure, multiple injections of a patient's stem cells and the postoperative physical therapy process.


2. Dr. Anz said cartilage stimulation is important to help the cartilage develop weight bearing properties as it heals. He said, "We've found that loading the cartilage with weight-bearing physical therapy is the way to get good cartilage to heal and grow, as we've been supplementing it with our body's own stem cells."


3. If a patient receiving a stem cell treatment doesn't receive physical therapy, the healing cartilage may make the bone and joint very stiff.


However, when a patient receives physical therapy and moves their joint, static loading allows for the two bone surfaces to come together without damaging cartilage, and it also allows the stem cells to aid in the healing process.


Dr. Anz said, "In this study, as well as in everyday life as orthopaedic surgeons, you need to manage the whole recovery for the patient through the healing process. That involves being really plugged in and communicating with your physical therapists."


More articles on sports medicine:
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Drs. Neal ElAttrache, James Andrews & more: 11 orthopedic surgeons treating professional athletes
Cavaliers' Derrick Rose returns to Cleveland Clinic for rehabilitation: 4 takeaways

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