Regenerative orthopaedics is the discipline within orthopaedics of encouraging bones and supporting tissues to regenerate rather than using foreign materials to replace them.
Population ageing and the developing world of regenerative orthopaedics
As populations around the world are rapidly skewing to have a greater proportion of older citizens, people are also living longer. Musculosketal pain and disability in older people is focusing attention on interventions to support bones and supporting tissues to allow older people to stay mobile.
Although many of the interventions of regenerative orthopaedics have been around for a decade or two, it is only recently that the concept has been firmly recognised and the discipline clearly differentiated into -
- regenerative medicine - injection of regenerative materials into tissues and joints.
- regenerative surgery - surgical implantation of scaffolds and cells together with growth factors.
Regenerative medicine involves non-surgical tissue augmentation via injection of cells and growth factors into the joint cavity. Procedures may be undertaken by a Physician or a Surgeon, and thus may be performed by a doctor without specialisation in orthopaedic surgery.
Injecting regenerative materials into the knee may be done in the doctor's rooms or an operating room, but both require that sterile protocols are followed so that the joint does not become infected.
Regenerative surgery is done by a surgeon, and will involve the patient being taken into the operating room. Procedures may include replacing bits of damaged tissue by bits of healthy tissue from the same knee.
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