Whenever there has been significant damage to a tissue due to trauma, a regenerative approach may help restore what the body has lost. Regenerative medicine helps re-establish normal site specific tissue and thereby enhance healing and biomechanical function.
Stem cell treatment is a form of regenerative therapy that involves using the body’s own “base” cell to differentiate into other cells. AnimalMedicalCenter uses this treatment in horses and dogs with joint or soft tissue injuries (tendon/ligament) to facilitate tissue healing and limit scar tissue formation during the process. The procedure involves taking the patients adipose tissue, or fat, from a small surgical incision. The tissue is sent away to be processed and is returned in 48 hours. Then, the adipose tissue-derived stem cells are injected into an injured area.
Autologous Cell Plasma is commonly used to treat tendon, ligament, and joint injuries. The body’s natural platelets contain a variety of growth factors that stimulate healing. The treatment involves drawing the patients blood and separating the platelets out through a process called centrifugation. This new platelet and growth factor rich component of the blood is then injected into an injured area. The ACP product stimulates collagen formation, promotes blood vessel formation, stimulates release of growth factors, and modulates matrix formation.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of lameness in horses and dogs. There are multiple ways veterinarians can treat this condition with a laundry list of methods which typically include a combination of rest, oral anti-inflammatories, feed additive joint supplements, injectable forms of joint supplements, and intra-articular (joint) injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Although injecting corticosteroids into a joint can significantly reduce inflammation within a joint, it is considered a “short term” fix because it minimally protects the joint tissues.
The pathophysiology of osteoarthritis is complex. Changes in a joint over time stimulate formation and release of inflammatory proteins, such as interleukin-1 and other cytokines, which result in cartilage degeneration. IRAP (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein) was developed to counteract the inflammatory protein, interleukin-1, and thereby slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
IRAP treatment by drawing blood aseptically from the horse or dog into a syringe that contains special beads that induce an inflammatory response. The blood is then incubated for 24 hours, centrifuged, and separated serum withdrawn. This serum contains the anti-inflammatory protein, IRAP. Several individual syringes of serum can be frozen for future use.