Press Releases

Horse Successfully Treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for Tendon Injuries

SR Famousinparadise, a Quarter Horse, was successfully treated with VetStem Cell Therapy for tendon injuries by Dr. Fabio Aristizabal at Cave Creek Equine.

2023-01-10 --

SR Famousinparadise aka Elvis is a Quarter Horse who suffered severe injuries to both front deep digital flexor tendons (DDFT). The DDFT functions to stabilize the joints of the lower leg when the limb is weight bearing and allows flexion of the digit. Unfortunately, injuries to the DDFT are common in athletic horses. These injuries are serious and can significantly affect a horse’s soundness and athletic ability. Injury to the DDFT typically requires a lengthy rehabilitation process regardless of the treatment method.

Fortunately for Elvis, his veterinarian at the time, Dr. Fabio Aristizabal of Cave Creek Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy. To begin the process, a sample of Elvis’ fat tissue was collected from his tailhead during a minimally invasive procedure. His fat was aseptically packaged and shipped overnight to the VetStem processing laboratory in Poway, California. Once received, lab technicians processed the fat to isolate and concentrate the stem and regenerative cells contained therein. Several doses of Elvis’ own stem cells were prepared and shipped to his veterinarian for injection into his injured tendons and surrounding areas.

After his treatment, Elvis began a strict rehab protocol including stall rest, hand walking, and new shoes every six weeks. At about 1/3 of the way through his recovery, Elvis had an ultrasound to evaluate his injuries which showed significant healing. According to his owner, Elvis has appeared happy since the treatment. His rehabilitation continues and he is scheduled to have another ultrasound in the coming weeks.

VetStem Cell Therapy utilizes the patient’s natural healing cells to treat degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis as well as traumatic injuries such as torn ligaments and injured tendons. Stem cells are regenerative cells that can differentiate into many tissue types. They have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, help to restore range of motion, and stimulate regeneration of tendon, ligament, and joint tissues. Additionally, stem cells can reduce the formation of scar tissue, and lead to cleaner, more complete healing of torn tendons and ligaments.

The first patient to receive VetStem Cell Therapy was a horse in 2004 that was treated for a tendon injury that would have normally been career-ending. By 2007, 2,000 horses had received VetStem Cell Therapy with a high return to performance rate. Based on survey results from horse owners, 76% of horses returned to full work at their prior level after treatment for suspensory ligament injuries, 77% returned to full work after treatment for tendon injuries, and 57% returned to full work after treatment for joint disease.