From Biovision’s Views Newsletter, Issue 2, May 2015
Vet: Sherman Canapp, DVM, DACVS, DACVSRM
Affiliation: VOSM — Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group
Position: Owner and Chief of Staff
Location: Annapolis Junction, MD
Use: Currently performing clinical research into the efficacy of regenerative medicine therapies in canine unilateral supraspinatus tendinopathy
I most recently became involved with Biovision at the start of Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group’s Canine Health Foundation clinical trial on the efficacy of regenerative medicine therapies. This is a pioneer study with Virginia Tech that we hope will shape the future of veterinary medicine, and therefore a great opportunity for Biovision’s involvement. This trial requires a confirmed diagnosis of unilateral supraspinatus tendinopathy, which can be confirmed through diagnostic ultrasound. This trial also has extensive exclusion criteria, including concurrent pathologies, which can only be confirmed through arthroscopy.
The NeedleView technology then came into play for this clinical trial since we require a definitive diagnosis before treatment–something that only arthroscopy can provide. The NeedleView is less invasive than traditional arthroscopy and allows us to perform advanced diagnostics without the need for a full setup in an operating room. We believe that the NeedleView will be an advantage to this study moving forward.
Our use of the NeedleView technology will expand upon the feasibility of using this technology in a clinical setting, as well as its ease of use in advanced diagnostics. Through our study on regenerative medicine therapies, we will be able to gain a better understanding of the uses of the technology as a diagnostic tool for canine shoulder injuries and develop efficient protocols for use in a clinical setting.
Key benefits of the NeedleView modality: Traditional arthroscopy is a tool that we use on a daily basis, but there are times that traditional arthroscopy is not needed. One of the biggest benefits of the NeedleView technology is that it allows for advanced diagnostics by a less invasive means. Veterinary medicine focuses on advances in medicine and patient care. Minimally invasive procedures that also allow a patient to be under anesthesia for less time are a huge benefit to the community overall. The NeedleView can be used for intra-articular and soft tissue imaging, such as arthroscopy of the meniscus, cranial cruciate ligament, medial shoulder instability, biceps tears, fragmented medical coronoid processes, and osteochondritis dissecans. The NeedleView is versatile in that it can be used in all joints, including the shoulder, carpus, hip, stifle, and hock.
For what practitioner/practice is NeedleView best suited? Arthroscopy in general requires dedicated training and expertise. If a veterinarian has the skills necessary to perform arthroscopies for his or her patients, it should be recommended to utilize these skills as arthroscopy is less invasive for the patient as compared to traditional exploratory surgery. Diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan are also viable advanced diagnostic options, but may not always be the most effective depending on the injury or suspected injury. All advanced diagnostics require training and considerable monetary commitment, but few are as versatile as arthroscopy and minimally-invasive procedures. Veterinarians who have less experience with arthroscopy should also be encouraged that the NeedleView technology, at 1.2 millimeters O.D., is less challenging to insert into a joint as compared to a 2.4- or 1.9-millimeter scope. As a cost benefit, we have found that arthroscopy with the NeedleView can be performed in our treatment or procedure area and does not require full draping in an operating room. By using our treatment area, we have also found that our patients require less time spent under anesthesia, as we do not have the added time of setting up arthroscopy equipment and patient preparation in an operating room.