There are two separate clinical fields that are encompassed by regenerative orthopaedics. The one is the field of orthopaedic regenerative medicine, ie non-surgical augmentation via injection, which can include -
- stimulating the local tissues via a form of irritation to heal themselves
- adding repair substances that again help to trigger the whole process of repair
- adding the actual repair cells themselves into the damaged area.
The other component of regenerative orthopaedics is orthopaedic regenerative surgery which means that the doctor has entered the area with a scalpel and -
- unloaded tissues that are stressed
- surgically repaired or improved damaged tissues structurally using biological materials, possibly in association with unloading them from stress
- augmenting surgical repair using organic materials engineered in a laboratory.
So together, regenerative medicine and regenerative surgery in orthopaedics can be thought of as ‘regenerative orthopaedics’. Of course the surgeon is licensed to offer the medical interventions but not the other way around - a doctor who is not qualified in surgery will not be allowed to do the surgical part of it. That is fairly relevant as a patient may be uncertain as to whether the doctor who is managing them is a surgeon or a physician, or the patient may not be aware of this very important distinction.