tendon repair

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Posted on in Non-surgical Therapy, Uncategorized Comments Off on Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy being applied to an arthritic kneeExtracorporeal Shockwave Therapy 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy doesn’t involve electric shocks. Shockwaves are sudden vibrations. The body is built to absorb shockwaves from activities such as running and jumping. These shockwaves trigger the release of growth factors that promote the development of bone, tendon and ligament. This is part of the reason why athletes have greater bone density than less active individuals.

Growth factors not only promote tissue growth; they are also powerful anti-inflammatories. This anti-inflammatory action can help relieve arthritis pain.

Arthritis, Bursitis, Fasciitis

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy helps relieve the pain of chronic arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Typically, it is recommended that extracorporeal shockwave therapy be applied a total of once a week for 3 weeks. If the treatment is going to work, benefit should be seen after the first treatment. After the completion of 3 treatments, improved comfort typically lasts for 3 months, after which only a single treatment is needed to provide comfort for each additional 3 month period.

Patients need to have a small area over the affected structure shaved before treatment. Generally, no sedation is required. Minor bruising of the affected area sometimes occurs. Chronic, long standing conditions tend to respond better than recent conditions.

Tendon and Ligament Repair, Resorption of Tendon Calcifications

Treatment protocols vary depending on the nature and severity of the tendon lesion, but extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of damaged tendon and the resorption of tendon calcifications.

Typical protocols involve 3 treatments spaced 2-3 weeks apart, coupled with an appropriate rehabilitation program.

Accelerating bone repair after surgery

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been shown to accelerate healing of bone following cruciate surgery, as well as stimulate the healing of bone following fracture repair. Speeding the rate of bone repair can help reduce the chance of complications following cruciate repair or other surgery.

If you would like your pet to receive extracorporeal shockwave therapy, contact information can be found here. If you have further questions, please email info@pointseastwest.com

Stem Cell treatment of partially torn biceps tendon

Posted on in Non-surgical Therapy, Regenerative Medicine, Uncategorized Comments Off on Stem Cell treatment of partially torn biceps tendon

Case Report:

Stem Cell treatment of partially torn biceps tendon.


biceps stretch

With a damaged biceps tendon, shoulder flexion like this is very painful.

Biceps tendon injury is a common cause of shoulder pain in dogs.  In veterinary medicine, the traditional treatment has been surgical – the tendon is cut from its attachment point so that it no longer is a source of pain.  The problem is that once cut, the tendon is no longer a source of stability for the shoulder and now there is an increased chance of other injuries occurring, including rotator cuff injuries or damage to the supraspinatus tendon. SURGICALLY CUTTING THE BICEPS TENDON SHOULD ONLY BE USED AS A LAST RESORT AFTER ALL OTHER TREATMENTS HAVE FAILED!

Rehabilitation therapy (the veterinary equivalent of physiotherapy) offers a new option for treating this condition and is successful in most minor cases where the amount of tendon tearing is not too great.  However, some cases fail to respond to rehabilitation, and unfortunately many of those cases then proceed straight to surgery.

Now there is another option for biceps (and many other) tendon injuries if rehabilitation therapy alone is not enough to fix the problem.  We are now able to use stem cells to regenerate new healthy tendon, as well as to resorb scarred or calcified tendon tissue.  Click here to learn more about regenerative medicine options and uses.

Case Example:PEW blog BT injury pre-MSC

Damaged Biceps Tendon Damaged Biceps Tendon Damaged Biceps Tendon

Damaged Biceps Tendon with graphics

This is an ultrasound of a damaged biceps tendon that I examined last summer.  I know, looking at ultrasound images can be confusing, much like trying to read television static, so I added fancy graphics.  Healthy tendon should have an even level of “whiteness” on ultrasound, with easily distinguished fibers running along its length.  Damaged tendon has mixed colouring of light and dark tissue, with disruptions of these fibers.

The blue lines show the outline of the bones.  See how the tendon (in red) crosses from the forelimb on the right to the shoulder blade on the left?  It spans across the shoulder joint, which provides stability and is why we want to preserve it if at all possible.

The tendon itself is outlined in red.  As you can see, there is quite a bit of colour variation and fibre disruption evident.  This is a badly damaged biceps tendon.  We tried fixing the tendon using rehabilitation therapy techniques, but unfortunately those techniques didn’t work in this case.  Without some other treatment, this dog would never return to full and pain free activity again.

PEW blog BT injury 3m post-MSC

PEW blog BT injury 3m post-MSC edited copy

Here is the same tendon 3 months after injection with stems cells collected from the dog’s bone marrow and injected into the damaged tendon.  See the difference?

This tendon has a much better level of “whiteness”, uniform colouring and good fiber definition.  We anticipate that this dog will return to full activity on the shoulder.

If you would like to have your pet assessed and possibly treated using these techniques, please contact one of the hospitals where Dr. Lane works.