January 22, 2019

Healing Faster From Broken Bones

UA professor seeks ways to help people recover from orthopedic injuries more quickly.

Air force orthopedic The University of Arizona received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study ways to help injured veterans recover from broken bones.
Vernon Young Jr./U.S. Air Force

LISTEN

A University of Arizona medical researcher is studying how bone cells grow, and he says it can someday help injured people jump start the bone-regeneration process.

Professor John Szivek says our bones regenerate themselves constantly, but if a damaged bone doesn't renew itself within six months, the body tends to give up the process of replacing it and starts producing scar tissue instead. He is examining 3D printing and adult stem cell research to come up with solutions for people recovering from extensive fractures or other significant bone injuries.

"This is a very important process that we have in our body, an adaptive process that constantly turns our bones over in response to our exercise needs," Szivek said.

Researchers say natural bone regrowth accounts for most recoveries from orthopedic injuries, but they note major injuries, such as those suffered by military personnel, are complicated by a delay in resetting the damaged bone, or the need for more significant reconstruction of bone tissue.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona