Glenn C. Terry, M.D. reveals his thoughts in a recent interview:
Q: As regenerative medicine treatment options utilizing autologous stem cells become more popular, a few self-proclaimed “experts” have appeared in the field who are not orthopedic surgeons, yet, they advertise themselves as experts with the new buzz phrase “Interventional Orthopedics.” A few of these new “experts” have been critical, even, of orthopedic surgeons involved in regenerative medicine. What are your thoughts regarding this line of thinking?
A: It’s a logic paradox to criticize orthopedic surgeons participating in Regenerative Medicine Treatments because they certainly have an excellent understanding of the anatomy and the function of that anatomy that they are attempting to target for treatment.
Q: Can a physician specialize in “Interventional Orthopedics”?
A: “Interventional Orthopedics” is not a recognized specialty. The phrase is the result of passing a test with a 70% (without coursework or hands-on training) versus four to five years of intensive training required of orthopedic surgeons. This four to five year training process provides orthopedic surgeons with multiple presentations of musculoskeletal issues that cannot be taught in a “mini-course.” Thus, the phrase “interventional orthopedics” may be more of a marketing tool and, as such, is misleading.
Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is the descriptors one uses to describe his/her training need to be authentic so they are not misleading. If they aren’t authentic, the assumption would be that the motivation behind the use of those descriptors may be purely financial.
Q: What advice do you have to share with patients seeking a physician who can provide stem cell therapy for orthopedic (musculoskeletal) issues?
A: There are several skilled orthopedic surgeons who are experts in understanding the anatomy and conditions that should be targeted for regenerative medicine treatment. One may seek an orthopedic surgeon who is also trained in regenerative medicine procedures utilizing targeted injections with ultrasound guidance. There are other competent, non-orthopedic physicians who are safely targeting injured areas without having to misdirect potential patients with the inclusion of the marketing word “orthopedist” in their titles. Clearly the better the clinical experience of the physician, the higher the level of the success rates with musculoskeletal problems.