Clearing up misconceptions about regenerative medicine

March 6, 2018
David Dycus, DVM, MS, CCRP, DACVS-SA

David Dycus is frequent speaker at the Fetch dvm360 conferences, an orthopedic staff surgeon at Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, and co-founder and co-director of the Veterinary Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute.

Veterinary orthopedic specialist Dr. David Dycus gives the lowdown on this emerging modality.

As regenerative medicine has become more prevalent in the veterinary market in recent years, so have pet owners' misunderstandings about the nature of the treatment. Fetch dvm360 conference speaker David Dycus, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA, says regeneration is only part of the picture.

"Probably a lot of the public's misconception is that we're simply trying to regenerate new tissues, which, while there may be some regeneration, what we're really ultimately doing is taking a very high concentration of growth factors and anti-inflammatories to an area of relatively poor healing," he says.

He points out that regenerative medicine works best to treat chronic soft tissue injuries when combined with surgical or rehabilitative therapy or medical management.

Dr. Dycus also offers a broader definition of regenerative medicine that comprises platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy, but he draws a distinction between the two.

"Platelet-rich plasma is essentially where we're taking a very high concentration of the platelets-which themselves (constitute) a very rich source of growth factors-that are going to help promote angiogenesis so we can get inflammatory and reparative cells to a site of injury," he says.

Stem cell therapy also helps in angiogenesis, says Dr. Dycus, but there's more: "What's especially important for chronic conditions is it can help break down or inhibit some of the fibrous tissue that tends to develop within tendons or ligaments due to chronic, repetitive overuse-type injuries."

Get all the details on how these two therapies work together in the video.