Orthobiologics uses biologic treatments to improve symptoms of certain orthopedic conditions and has the potential to enhance healing in musculoskeletal tissues.

What is Orthobiologics?

Orthobiologics therapies, also sometimes called orthobiologics, use biological tissues found in the human body, such as blood, fat or bone marrow.

In most cases, this type of biologic treatment is created using the patient’s own tissue to treat an injury. (This is called “autologous” Orthobiologics.) These therapies are generally safe for patients, since they are derived from the patient’s own cells.

What is orthopedic Orthobiologics used for?

Orthobiologics may improve pain and discomfort of the musculoskeletal system and enhance the healing of orthopedic conditions, such as injuries of a tendon, ligament, bone, muscle, spinal disc, meniscus of the knee, cartilage or other musculoskeletal tissue. Most of these parts of the body have a relatively poor ability to heal on their own. The idea behind Orthobiologics is to help these tissues heal better.

Orthobiologics can be used to treat degenerative conditions such as certain forms of arthritis, as well as sports injuries and traumas. Orthobiologics may help some patients avoid orthopedic surgery completely. Conditions commonly treated with Orthobiologics include:

  • cartilage injuries
  • degenerative disc disease in the spine
  • fractures (broken bones) that are not healing correctly
  • intervertebral disc tears
  • labral tears (torn hip labrum or torn shoulder labrum)
  • ligament sprains or tears (such as ACL tears or MCL tears of the knee)
  • meniscus tears
  • muscle strain injuries in athletes
  • nerve inflammation
  • osteoarthritis and joint pain
  • partial tendon tears
  • plantar fasciitis
  • tendonitis and tendinosis

Orthobiologics may also help shorten and improve the healing process following orthopedic surgeries, such as ACL reconstruction or other ligament surgeries, and meniscus repair.

How does Orthobiologics work?

Samples of a person’s own body tissue (or, sometimes, tissue donated by another person) are collected and concentrated to produce a solution that is then injected into the patient.

Some evidence suggests that these prepared concentrates contain not only cells that signal or “call” other cells to gather at the site of injury to assist with healing, but also many proteins and molecules that alleviate the inflammation process and pain symptoms.

How are the “injectables” in Orthobiologics prepared?

The tissue sample (of blood, bone marrow or fat) will be run though a special syringe, “spun down” in a centrifuge and concentrated. This concentrate contains cells and molecules that help injuries heal.

What are the different types of Orthobiologics?

  • Bone marrow therapy (also known as bone marrow aspirate concentrate or BMAC)
  • Cell-based treatments such as:
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment
  • PRP is produced from a small sample of a person’s own blood. The blood is centrifuged (spun down) to isolate and concentrate platelets, which are the blood cells that assist in natural tissue healing processes.
  • Stem-cell therapy