Medical gathering focuses on tissue healing |

Medical gathering focuses on tissue healing

Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – Orthopaedic surgeons and research scientists from The Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail recently met with leaders in the field to discuss how their medical community is advancing the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy, growth factors and stem cells to heal sports-related injuries.

The Biologic Treatments for Sports Injuries Symposium took place March 3-4 at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail. Dr. Robert LaPrade, orthopaedic knee surgeon with The Steadman Clinic and the chief medical research officer for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, served as the co-chair and local host to more than 30 orthopaedic and sports medicine professionals from Cornell, Colorado State University, Harvard, Pittsburgh, Duke and Stanford, as well as abroad from Canada, the U.K., and Norway.

The purpose of the symposium, which was the first ever of its kind among orthopaedic surgeons, was to discuss the present state of tissue healing through the use of stem cells and applied growth factors such as platelet-rich plasma. While researchers agree that the science behind platelet-rich plasma offers a natural healing process for biologically compromised tissues, the group also presented valid obstacles in research and discussed areas that needed to be improved so that critical advancements could be made in order to make this treatment a more realistic option at the clinical level to treat patients with injury.

Platelets are tiny cells found in the blood that contain rich growth factors that influence the healing of tissue. Platelet rich plasma is made from one’s own blood by withdrawing the blood and separating the white and red blood cells, and platelets from the serum (the clear liquid contained in blood). Platelet-rich plasma has been proven to have effective healing properties for joint, muscle, and tissue injuries that do not respond to conventional treatment, and studies have shown that it stimulates and promotes bone regeneration.

Throughout the weekend, researchers presented topics on a variety of issues relating to platelet-rich plasma and concluded that while the orthopaedic industry believes the use of these growth factors can improve the repair process and possibly shorten the healing and recovery period, there is still an overall lack of research that has been concluded to offer this treatment on a higher, more mainstream level.

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