Veterinarians hope a new medical procedure can treat a 25-year-old chimpanzee with a torn ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, at the “Save the Chimps” in Florida.
The procedure involves injecting the chimp with her own stem cells.
“With chimps we don’t want to do a lot of surgical work, put hardware in their knee, they tend to pull out that sort of thing,” said Veterinarian Linda Gregard, M.D.
Dr. Darrell Nazareth with the Florida Veterinary League has been using stem cells to treat dogs with arthritis for the past two years, but this is his first chimp.
“We’re not using embryonic stem cells, we’re not taking embryos and taking their stem cells from there. We’re just using the patient’s own tissue,” said Dr. Nazareth.
The technology harnesses the bodies own ability to heal itself and doctors hope it could find wider use in humans.
After injecting two billion stem cells into Angie’s knee, doctors will find out in the next two to three weeks if the stem cell therapy treatment was successful.