I recently received follow up radiographs on a Thoroughbred yearling that I treated with stem cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP) just 4 weeks ago. This valuable colt had a severe bone disease in both stifles known as osteochondritis dissecans or OCD for short. This bone pathology will certainly reduce the value of a performance horse as a consequence of the lesion leading to lameness. The owners were faced with significant economic loss, not to mention the lost racing potential.
I was delighted to find that these lesions had improved markedly in the short 4 week period since the injection, but this isn’t the first time I have been impressed with the results of stem cell therapy. My most gratifying case was a very good Hunter/Jumper that had sustained a traumatic injury to the stifle. By all account euthanasia was a serious consideration; however, the owner was willing to go to any length to save this lovely creature. To make a long story short we did the Stem Cell/PRP therapy and the horse recovered beautifully and is still in training today.
Admittedly these are anecdotal reports which in the realm of scientific endeavor are the equivalent of neighborhood gossip, but I am pleased to report there is a plethora of well executed scientific studies that validate stem cell therapy as a legitimate treatment option for a number of injuries and conditions. A quick internet search reveals reams of scientific studies in the field of Regenerative Medicine. Below is one study supporting stem cell therapy in the treatment of arthritis in animals.
Hip osteoarthritis in dogs: a randomized study using mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue and plasma rich in growth factors.
Int J Mol Sci. January 2014;15(8):13437-60.
Belen Cuervo 1, Monica Rubio 2, Joaquín Sopena 2, Juan Manuel Domínguez 3, José Vilar 4, Manuel Morales 5, Ramón Cugat 6, Jose Maria Carrillo