The Orthobiologics Elevator Pitch

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A grandmother and her granddaughter riding scooters in the park

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An elevator pitch is when you try to relay a complex message in a few sentences. Let’s explore an elevator pitch for orthobiologics and why I think this is a great way to communicate the benefits to patients. Let’s dig in.

The Elevator Pitch

There are a few origin stories about the elevator pitch, which is a short presentation about a topic in a few sentences or during the time it takes an elevator to get where it’s going. My favorite is a journalist who could never get time with his busy boss to pitch stories, so he decided to catch him on the elevator to get the job done.

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What Are Orthobiologics?

If you’re new to this blog or topic, see my video below:

What Is the Orthobiologics Elevator Pitch?

Here is my favorite one:

“When you’re young, your body’s ability to repair exceeds wear and tear. As you get older, parts of your body break down because wear and tear exceed repair. The job of orthobiologics is to reverse that calculus in a degenerated or damaged part.”

Let’s look at some examples. You injure your knee cartilage in your 20s and after an initial short recovery, it never bothers you again until your late 30s, 40s or 50s. When you were young, your body’s ability to repair this area exceeded the breakdown of cartilage cells due to normal wear and tear. As you got older, you crossed that point where your natural ability to repair the area got less than the normal wear and tear. When that happened, knee arthritis began to kick in. The job of orthobiologics in the knee would be to amp up repair so that mechanism works like when you were younger. That might be a bone marrow concentrate procedure containing stem cells or just PRP every year or two.

The same thing happens when there is instability or asymmetry in the body. For instability, that means that one joint moves around too much because of damaged ligaments. In asymmetry, a part sustains too much force due or a change in the shape of the spine or other things that cause more pressure on some areas more than others. Again, when you’re young, you can take these extra forces and keep going because your ability to repair exceeds the wear and tear from the extra forces. When you’re old, that’s harder to do. The goal of orthobiologics here is to again help that area ramp up healing. However, in these cases, we also need to work on getting the extra force off the area either through strengthening (instability) or normalizing the curve or asymmetry.

The upshot? Elevator pitches allow us to explain to patients why we do what we do and how it will benefit them. While there are others for orthobiologics, this is one of my favorites because it keeps it simple.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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