Intra-articular therapy refers to the process of injecting medications directly into the joint to relieve inflammation, improve healing and help a horse return to performing at an optimal level. The goal of all intra-articular therapies is to stop the cycle of inflammation to prevent further damage to the joint. There are a number of medications used in equine medicine for the treatment of degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis and synovitis. The following are some of the most common intra-articular medicines used by Evans Equine:
- Corticosteroids are a group of very powerful, commonly used anti-inflammatory agents that quickly reduce inflammation.
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a natural component of synovial fluid which, has both chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. HA and corticosteroids are often used in conjunction.
- Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory protein that prevents the detrimental effects of inflammatory proteins in the joint. IRAP therapy involves the process of incubating equine blood with glass beads coated with a substance designed to enhance the production of anti-inflammatory factors. IRAP has minimal risks associated with its use, as it is derived from the horse itself.
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Shockwave is a non-invasive procedure which uses high energy pressure waves to relieve pain, speed healing and improve the quality of healing. Unlike more traditional musculoskeletal treatments, shockwave stimulates a body’s ability to heal itself, which allows for a more complete healing of injuries with less scar tissue and an increased likelihood that the tissue will return to its original, functional condition. Shockwave is used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions in horses, including, but not limited to:
- Desmitis and Tendonitis
- Back Pain/Kissing spine
- Sacroiliac pain
- Non-healing Wounds
- Foot Pain/Navicular disease
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Tendon and ligament injuries are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries in the performance horse. Historically, these injuries resulted in extended periods of convalescence and predisposed the horse to re-injury. The introduction of regenerative medicine in recent years has reduced rehabilitation time and improved the prognosis for full return to work. Evans Equine is pleased to offer the following regenerative therapies:
- Platelet Rich Plasma: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is made using you horses’ own blood. It can be harvested, filtered and injected directly into a lesion, using ultrasound guidance, all within a matter of minutes. PRP forms a clot, which acts as a scaffold for new growth. Growth factors are released by the platelets, which induces a healing response and leads to quicker regeneration and stronger, more elastic fibers.
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- Stem Cells: Stem cells are multipotent, meaning that they can differentiate into many different types of cells including osteoblasts (which make bone) and fibroblasts (which make tendons and ligaments). The stem cells are derived from your horses’ adipose tissue (fat) and injected via ultrasound guidance into a lesion. Stem cells, like PRP, are used to treat both traumatic and degenerative musculoskeletal conditions.
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