Grand Rounds: Orthobiologic injections: A new approach to treating the painful shoulder

Event Date: March 3rd, 2020

Joanne Borg-Stein, MD

Grand Rounds: Orthobiologic injections:  A new approach to treating the painful shoulder

The biologic treatment of musculoskeletal injury is a relatively new area of orthopedics. In orthobiologics, injections of the patient’s own blood, cells, or fat tissue are used to heal, relieve pain, and restore overall function without worry of an allergic reaction or rejection.

Recently, orthobiologic therapies have become very effective for patients with arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, major joint issues and sports medicine injuries.

Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein spoke about this exciting treatment for shoulder pain, including a clinical case of a patient with shoulder pain. The patient offered his perspective on the care received. The Osher Center’s own Matthew Kowalski, DC and BWH orthopedic surgeon Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH joined the conversation as discussants.

Presenter: Joanne Borg-Stein, MD

Chief, Division of Sports and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital


Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein is a physiatrist in Wellesley, Massachusetts and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Her clinical area of expertise is sports medicine, myofascial pain and soft tissue causes of back pain. She has organized national and regional courses on muscle pain, cervicogenic dizziness, musculoskeletal disorders of pregnancy, athletic hip injuries, medical acupuncture and exercise training in rehabilitation, reflecting clinical expertise. She has combined medical acupuncture with pharmacology expertise and behavioral strategies for pain management. She has a strong interest in women’s musculoskeletal health and sports medicine. Areas of special therapeutic interest include prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma and diagnostic/interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Her most recent area of clinical research is in collaboration with the Sports Medicine Department at Wellesley College. There, she is studying lower extremity strength, flexibility and dynamic control and assessing risk factors for lower extremity injury in female varsity college athletes. She is also actively involved in clinical research about platelet rich plasma injection for sports medicine and musculoskeletal pain.

Discussant: Matthew Kowalski, DC


Matthew Kowalski, DC is a 1990 graduate of the National College of Chiropractic. He also completed a multidisciplinary orthopedics residency leading to certification with the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics. Dr. Kowalski practices at the of the Osher Clinical Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he also serves at the Associate Clinical Director. His practice focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patient suffering with headaches, spinal disorders, myofascial pain syndromes and other non-operative musculoskeletal conditions. Doctor Kowalski’s care combines manually applied procedures, rehabilitation, lifestyle counseling and ergonomic modifications. His integrative approach to practice bridges conventional and integrative healthcare.

Discussant: Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH


Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, MPH earned her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Pomona College and her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her residency training in Orthopaedic Surgery was completed at Hospital for Special Surgery and included a one-year research fellowship. During that same time, she also obtained a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University. Following her residency, Dr. Hettrich completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Hettrich has been involved in both clinical and laboratory research for over 15 years. She has performed research on tendon to bone (rotator cuff) healing, determinants of outcome after shoulder instability surgery, as well as ways to improve the design and function of shoulder replacements. She is the co-PI of the MOON Shoulder Instability cohort, which is the largest prospective cohort of shoulder instability patients in the world.

Event Details

Date/Time: Tuesday,  March 3 | 8:00am – 9:00am (followed by coffee hour, 9:00am – 10:00am)
Venue: Bornstein Family Amphitheater, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 45 Francis St. Boston, MA
Cost: Free. CME credit available (for in-person and virtual attendance).
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Live Stream             

1) If you DO NOT wish to request CME credit for virtual attendance, view the live stream here.
If you DO want to request CME credit for virtual participation, to be eligible, send an email between 8:00-8:30am on Tuesday, Mar. 3rd with your full name, degree and organization to [email protected].

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