by Samantha Anderson
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
7:53 PM CST, January 30, 2013
Emerald is a six-year old Red Kangaroo and like most kangaroos, Emerald likes to hop.
Unfortunately, last December she aggravated an old injury in her hock, which is the equivalent to a person's ankle.
"Right now, medicine doesn't have a lot to offer," Larry Snyder a veterinarian on the case said.
That's where a special team of doctors from Wichita, Salina and Topeka comes in. They are going to use stem cell technology to help Emerald. They believe this method works better than steroids or drugs.They say the stem cells actually help heel the site and diminish the inflammation.
First the doctors draw blood for plasma. Then they take fat from Emerald. It is from this fat that they will get the stem cells. Because this was the first procedure of it's kind that the team knows of there wasn't a blue print to follow.
"We had no idea where the fat store of sources would be," Snyder said.
Initially, the team tried at Emerald's shoulder, but were more successful near her pelvis.
The team then processes the fat, mixes it with plasma and uses light to activate the stem cells. After the three hour process the mixture will be ready to inject into Emerald's leg.
The surgeons say Emerald should start feeling better within the next month.
Copyright © 2013, KWCH-TV