Orthogen was founded in 1993 by Prof. (USA) Dr. Peter Wehling, a former spine surgeon and sports medicine specialist, and Dr. Julio Reinecke, a molecular biologist.
As an ambitioned spine surgeon Peter Wehling has been interested in the non-mechanical effects and solutions in the field of orthopedics and spine surgery, from the very beginning of his residency. While treating patients suffering from disc prolapses, Peter observed that the extent of the mechanical compression on the nerve did not correlate with the experienced pain intensity. Further, he saw that some patients with a former herniated disc still experienced the same radiating pain after the herniation has been surgically removed. How could pain still be present, if the mechanical problem has been solved? The answer to this was the inflammatory component which remained after surgery in those patients, as Peter discovered. In a rat model, he demonstrated that inflammatory molecules placed at a nerve root, without any mechanical compression, resulted in radiating pain.
Peter Wehling in the early 90s
Peter Wehling soon began to realize that the text-books were partially wrong to ascribe back pain to a ruptured disc pressing against a nerve. Instead, he formulated a biological explanation placing inflammation at the heart of the problem.
Their belief in the biochemical and biomolecular importance has driven the research at Orthogen ever since.
Scientists have begun to understand that inflammation and diminished regenerative capacity is a universal issue, that applies to conditions outside of the orthopedic spectrum, including autoimmune diseases, aging.
© Gordon Welters for The New York Times, 2012