Orthopaedic surgeons use natural substances called orthobiologics to accelerate the healing of bone fractures, including matrix material, such as bone grafts, stem cells and growth factor proteins, reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Exercising against the gentle resistance of water provided by a swimming pool is rehabilitative, adds WebMD.
Doctors use a bone graft taken from the patient’s body, called an autograft, as matrix material to provide a conductive, protective area in which new bone cells are generated, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Typically harvested from the patient’s pelvis, bone grafting requires another incision and can complicate the surgery and increase pain and recovery time. Doctors often use an allograft, or bone derived from a cadaver obtained from a bone bank, as an alternative.
Physicians utilize genetically engineered, synthetic proteins called bone morphogenetic proteins to accelerate healing in a fracture that is healing slowly, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. BMPs attract stem cells to the injury site to assist with repair. Stem cells are specialized, immature cells that can develop into a specific type of cell that the body needs for healing in a certain area, such as bone, ligament or muscle. Because the pelvic bone contains the highest amount of stem cells, this is the typical location for stem cell harvesting, but they are also contained in the bone marrow of the arms and legs. Injected into the injured area by a fine needle, stem cells accelerate healing.