Regenerative Therapies

When injury to a joint, tendon, or ligament occurs in an athletic horse, treatment with regenerative therapies at the site of damage can provide the fastest, most effective healing possible.  This helps reduce the amount of time required for healing and return to work.  Stem cell therapy, PRP, and IRAP have long been thought to be the only options and the gold standards for treating these types of injuries.  However, we have new evidence to suggest there are other, often better, options.
Studies have recently shown that stem cells do not survive as well once implanted into the live animal as was once thought.  Although they can provide a healthy ground for healing to occur, they do not regenerate into cells that become like the cells that were originally damaged, as the medical field once thought.   This occurs in a scientific testing environment like a petri dish, but does not occur in the live animal.  To provide the best possible regeneration of healthy, elastic fibers, we prefer to use amniotic-derived products.  The benefits to amniotic-derived cells include faster treatment time, a higher number of collagen fiber types than PRP, non-invasive method of harvesting, and a significantly lower rate of adverse immune response.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a high-energy focused sound wave that is used to target injured anatomical structures.  This therapy is used to hasten the healing process and activate any regenerative products that have been injected into the injured area.  We often use this method of therapy in conjunction with intralesional (into the injury) or perilesional (around the injury) regenerative products.  This method of therapy is also very helpful to alleviate pain from kissing spine, back muscle tension, heel bulb pain, and osteoarthritis, among other therapeutic options.

Joint Injections

To support the health and comfort of the horse’s joints while in work, intra-articular injections directly into the joint are a safe first-line therapy.  We are careful to choose appropriate medication types and use sterile technique to provide the best intra-articular pain relief, while still supporting healthy cartilage.  Ask Dr. Guardia what she thinks is best for your horse’s needs and your goals.