Glenn C. Terry, M.D., a prominent U.S. orthopedic surgeon with a strong international reputation, known for four decades of contributions to Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, retired from the prestigious Hughston Clinic in January, 2012. Dr. Terry quickly realized that retirement was not for him. From the beginning of arthroscopic surgery, to the dawn of biologics’ utilization, Dr. Terry has remained curious. As an example, he pursued educating himself in arthroscopy and after three years, was among only 10% of orthopedic surgeons operating arthroscopically in the U.S.
In 1988, Dr. Terry published a paper on isolated chondral fractures in the knee. Long term follow up of those patients revealed that the chondral fractures healed better when bone marrow was accessed through the use of a tiny drill pin. Also, bone marrow access created for a tendon/ligament that was too scarred to reach its anatomic sitem, placed in a bone trough, healed more reliably. Thus bone marrow access = stem cell access. These realizations altered his perceptions, causing him to state at an international conference talk in Brazil in 2002, “Minimal surgical invasion is helping patients recover faster; now biologics and cell based medicine are our next frontier”. Soon after, orthobiologics started to become utilized successfully. Both arthroscopy and orthobiologics have proven their value to patients, and Dr. Terry was ahead of the curve in both realms.
Because of his intense curiosity and commitment to excellence in all things patient related, Dr. Terry chose to commit himself completely to his fascination with biologics, specifically, autologous stem cell and biocellular treatments, and the associated signaling to the healing capabilities these provided.
Currently, Glenn C. Terry, M.D. is the founder and medical director of the GARM Clinic, located on the Island of Roatán, in the Western Caribbean.
Dr. Terry states, “We chose Roatán for the GARM Clinic because we already had a home here. The environment on the second largest barrier reef in the world is pristine, the island is tranquil and safe, and the people are wonderful. I truly enjoy the strong friendships and bonds that have been forged here in Roatán.” Dr. Terry continues, “Our vision was to locate our clinic in as serene an environment as possible, while building a first class research and treatment facility.”
“In establishing all of our treatment protocols, we tried to respect the FDA’s clinical study guidelines. However, the FDA clearly stated in its guidance released in December, 2017, that treatments for patients using fat, bone marrow, or blood as a source for stem cells to treat joint, tendon and muscle conditions are not considered approved by the FDA or legal in the U.S. at this time. We did not want to place our patients in an awkward situation regarding legality, even though thousands of published studies have documented the safety of these stem cell sources for procedures conducted in a responsible manner. Therefore, Roatán really was the best location for our clinic. Plus, it’s easy to get here from any major city in the U.S. and Canada,” adds Dr. Terry.
At the GARM Clinic, each treatment protocol is based on the clinical summary diagnoses in order to offer each patient a customized treatment within the established protocol. The treatments are based primarily on autologous adipose derived stem/stromal cells as well as a biocellular treatment (stem cells plus HD PRP). “It really is a team effort to be focused on each patient individually. This effort requires dedication and commitment to excellence by all team members,” explains Dr. Terry. With emphasis on the philosophy, he continues, “Whatever treatment time is required is only hours out of our lives, but it’s for the rest of the patient’s life. Thus, we focus completely on designing and providing the safest and best possible treatments for each patient.”
These treatments are carefully planned for each individual patient after a comprehensive and detail oriented history and physical exam, review of labs and other studies, and possibly an ultrasound assessment, all during a comprehensive consult with Dr. Terry.
“From a physician standpoint, a strong incentive to adopt our current approach in treating patients occurred when I began observing the failure of conventional medicine and prescription drugs to consistently help people recover their quality of life from a chronic disease state such as arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, type II diabetes, or COPD, to name a few. Instead, it seemed the symptoms were treated or masked without true recovery, because underlying causes were not affected. The drugs primarily treated symptoms, not the disease itself. Most prescriptions also carry some risk for adverse side effects, and some even have the risk of drug addiction. In orthopedics, surgery is often required, which can be helpful, but surgery is also associated with risks. Why not look at something safer than drugs or surgery? Biologics!” declares Dr. Terry.
“Now, what’s so amazing about what we are doing at the GARM Clinic? The selected patient treatments have a high probability of providing positive outcomes for the selected patients while avoiding risks associated with surgery or pharmaceutical medications. This approach may offer a real solution to chronic disease,” elaborates Glenn C. Terry, M.D. Even if the control of the chronic disease only lasts years rather than a lifetime, that control may provide both quality of life improvement, peace of mind, and potentially huge financial savings.”
With the awareness of the current incidence and financial impact of chronic disease in the U.S. and their projected future impact, Dr. Terry chooses to attempt to address the root cause(s) of the disease state for each patient in an attempt to reverse, eliminate, or stabilize the progression of that condition for the patient. Dr. Terry explains, “This approach seems like a better option for both the patient as well as our over-burdened health care system.”
Today, the GARM Clinic is an established leader in Regenerative Medicine and Conventional Medicine and has developed effective stem cell treatment protocols for many chronic disease states as well as acute and chronic injuries. The vision of Glenn C. Terry, M.D. has helped to improve the quality of life for countless patients throughout his career and continues to do so at the GARM Clinic on a small Island called Roatán in the Western Caribbean.