Dr. Robert F. LaPrade, knee surgeon and Chief Medical Research Officer for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, recently served as local host and co-chair for the Biologic Treatments for Sports Injuries Symposium that was held in Vail, CO at the Four Seasons Resort March 3-4. During the Symposium, orthopaedic research scientists and surgeons from The Institute met with leaders in the field from around the globe to discuss how their medical community is advancing the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), growth factors and stem cells to heal sports-related injuries.

During the Symposium 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, were on-hand to discuss the present state of tissue healing through the use of stem cells and applied growth factors such as platelet-rich plasma.

Throughout the weekend, researchers presented topics on a variety of issues relating to PRP 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.

As an example, Dr. Lars Engebretsen, PhD from the University of Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center in Norway and the Medical Director for the International Olympic Committee, discussed the role that PRP currently plays in sports medicine and the vision of how it could impact injured athletes through new research initiatives. He particularly highlighted the area of overuse injuries and offered a clinical perspective of where PRP belongs in relation to the surgical treatment, prevention and reduction of certain sports-related injuries such as ACL tears. More than two dozen other orthopaedic specialists presented on similar topics.

According to Dr. Robert LaPrade, “While science has progressed greatly in the past decade offering significant promise in the area of PRP, stem cells, and growth factors, future studies and additional research are needed so that we can take what we are learning at the scientific level and turn these into realistic, credible treatment recommendations for patients who are under the care of their orthopedic physician.”

The meeting ended with a new agenda in the area of PRP exploration including a collective effort to expand on-going studies through new grants and research initiatives in order to solve the questions presented during the symposium.

See the story in the Vail Daily: Medical gathering focuses on tissue healing

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