Treatment is done on an outpatient basis at the clinic. The horse requires only mild sedation so it remains standing during the procedure. Treatments usually take 30-45 minutes. We use a [girl with horse] direction head shockwave system from High Medical Technologies (HMT, a leader in the field) that generates pressure waves. The non-invasive shockwaves stimulate immune-competent cells and trigger the body’s natural repair mechanisms, promoting healing and pain relief without side effects.
Shockwave therapy is recommended for a variety of conditions. Fractures, stressfractures, joint diseases, navicular syndrome, sore back and kissing spine disease are some of the conditions successfully treated.
Ultrasound waves stimulate cells and induce them to repair damaged tissue. Strength and duration of the waves are adjusted to optimize a healthy healing response. Ultrasound therapy is effective for soft tissue and superficial bone injuries, less so for deeper bone injuries because the waves do not well penetrate dense bone. Therapeutic ultrasound stimulates tissue more than therapeutic lasers or diagnostic ultrasound, but less than shock wave therapy.
Stemcell / Bone Marrow Origin
Ligament and tendon injuries are common in athletic horses, and are often slow to heal with a high recurrence rate. Stem cell therapy can be of help. The technique is the same as that used by orthopedic surgeons in human medicine, for example to treat torn Achilles heels or other ligament tears. Stem cell therapy is one of several important and promising medical advances of recent years. Bone marrow is taken from the equine patient, and then the regenerative tissue-healing substances, such as stem cells and growth factors, are injected into the troubled area. The procedure requires a general anesthetic. The bone marrow is typically removed from the horse’s sternum, with the needle guided by ultrasound.
PRP/ACP for Orthopedic Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma is a growing field of interest for orthopedic conditions, including for example to improve knee arthritis or tendonitis. The process involves drawing blood and concentrating elements using acentrifuge. The natural healing benefits of plasma include the effect of platelets, which release growth and other substances that induce healing. PRP is sometimes known as Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP).
Rainland Farm Equine Clinic has recently acquired an “Angel” system which is a computerized processor that allows us to produce larger quantities of PRP for multiple sites of therapy. It also allows us to freeze the PRP to be available for future use. This system has both the accuracy and consistency of which most other PRP systems do not have. The “Angel” system can also process Bone Marrow stem cell products (BMAC) for point of care treatments.