A Homecoming for Doctors Peter and Faith Lotsikas
Skylos (“ski-los”, the Greek word for dog) Sports Medicine is the united vision of Drs. Peter and Faith Lotsikas. Their collective experience, philosophies, and desire to provide a unique concierge level of care for patients and their guardians inspired the opening of the first Skylos (Ellicott City, MD, February 2015).
Since that time, Skylos Sports Medicine has passionately cared for their clients and referring veterinarians with their signature combination: experienced boarded surgeons with advanced orthopedic skills teamed with compassionate, certified rehabilitation therapists and a support staff that is truly engaged in each patient outcome. To meet the growing needs of the canine community, Drs. Lotsikas decided a second location also dedicated to solely orthopedics would allow them to uphold their vision best. The new Frederick location in their hometown is a fully renovated 6500 square foot building equipped with dog-friendly flooring, a spa-like setting, multiple surgical suites, digital radiography and laboratory, and a fully outfitted rehabilitation gym.
Who is Skylos? When asked why they felt the need to develop Skylos, and then a second Skylos, Drs. Lotsikas refer back to their mission statement: “Our mission is to restore and maintain the basic canine freedom to feel good and run for the fun of it and to enhance the quality of life for our beloved companions. To uphold our vision, we have endeavored to create the best possible environment for those who work here and those who visit us, human and canine alike. Helping dogs live well is what drives us.”
Drs. Lotsikas identified the following guiding principles that, in addition to their specialty skills, set Skylos apart: “We strive to provide the attention to detail and expertise that we would expect ourselves when seeking help for our own loved ones, taking a genuinely individualized approach to each patient and family. We believe in the importance of providing comprehensive education and spending ample time with both the canine companion and their guardian. We are committed to remaining vigilant and at the forefront of our specialties, and to maintaining a team whose members are equally passionate about upholding the Skylos vision.”
What does Skylos do? The practice focuses exclusively on orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, and rehabilitation therapy. With three board-certified surgeons and five rehabilitation therapists, Skylos is a comprehensive and nationally recognized team. While Skylos is highly involved in research and teaching, they do not offer in-house residency or internships–each patient receives the full expertise and experience level of its accredited staff.
As just one of their standard-of-care differences, Skylos surgeons routinely combine arthroscopic evaluation of the stifle when performing cruciate ligament surgery. Skylos is fortunate to be equipped with the newest technology in their field, the Arthrex Synergy 4k. The SynergyUHD4™ integrates three consoles into one and revolutionizes endoscopic visualization and image management. Skylos is currently the only Veterinary facility in Maryland to use the Arthrex Synergy 4k.
While arthroscopy requires intensive training for proficiency, once mastered it allows superior visualization of joints. In the stifle, for example, the cartilage condition and meniscal integrity are assessed and treated without opening the knee fully. This provides the opportunity to treat hidden meniscal injuries and cartilage defects that would otherwise either be missed or require a more invasive treatment option. Arthroscopy is often the sole surgical treatment and allows Sklyos patients to enjoy the same benefits as humans: a minimally invasive procedure that provides direct diagnosis and concurrent treatment of numerous orthopedic conditions.
In addition to arthroscopy, Skylos surgeons treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries that involve both soft tissues like tendons to the most challenging of bone surgeries. Skylos is also a joint replacement hospital. There are limited practices, regionally and nationwide, that are able to provide this much-needed option for the restoration of canine quality of life. THR (Total Hip Replacement) and the CUE (Canine Unicompartmental Elbow resurfacing) procedures require significant skill level and specialized equipment that Skylos is proud to offer. In conjunction with their surgical treatments and often for soft tissue injuries, Skylos will utilize orthobiologics technology, such as PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cells when they feel it offers an advantage to the patient for healing and recovery.
Sports medicine cases and rehabilitation therapies play an equally important role in the Skylos practice. Skylos recognizes the very high number of dogs that do not need, or are not good candidates for surgery–but yet are suffering from soft-tissue injury, sports-related injury, or who need multi-modal pain and mobility management options. With their experience level in interpreting lameness and palpation findings, along with access to diagnostics such as musculoskeletal ultrasound and MRI, their patients are accurately diagnosed and able to start specific treatment plans.
Rehabilitation therapy is often ‘the’ treatment recommended for Skylos patients, but it also supports their post-operative patients as well. In the new Frederick location, an Oasis underwater treadmill is equipped with an incline and jets, and is the largest on the market—it can accommodate even a Newfoundland happily. The K9 gym offers a wonderful non-slip floor to comfortably work through therapeutic exercises with patients and their guardians. Hands-on manual therapies are their therapists most important tool, with laser and ultrasound modalities used in conjunction. Skylos believes that teaching the companions guardian as much as possible to follow up with at home between sessions, and to truly adapt plans to the individual, is key to their high success rate in healing dogs.
Drs. Lotsikas named their practice Skylos Sports Medicine in part because it houses a sports medicine boarded surgeon and a rehabilitation doctor and team knowledgeable about and involved in, canine sports and working dogs. This takes their understanding of the canine athlete (and the human teammate) to a level that benefits every patient—regardless of what the canine companion loves to do. Being aware of how the canine athlete uses their body and being able to accurately locate and diagnose subtle or challenging lameness in order to return a dog the to sport, work, or play, has provided the VA-MD sport dog communities and beyond a vital resource to their dog’s health and fitness.
For additional information about Skylos please visit, SkylosSportsMedicine.com.