Treatment for Equine Joints
Peak Athletic Performance
Joint therapies are the cornerstone of performance maintenance in the sport horse. The athletic exercise our horses perform can put great stress on certain joints and can lead to inflammation and ultimately degenerative joint disease (DJD or arthritis). In the early stages arthritis can cause uncomfortable increases in the volume of joint fluid and production of a poorer quality, less effective fluid. In later stages arthritis may lead to the formation of extreme synovitis, cartilage damage, and bone spurs. Horses experiencing pain from arthritis may exhibit decreased willingness to work or difficulty executing desired movements. While it is impossible to cure arthritis, joint injections with the synthetic joint fluid hyaluronic acid, cortisone, and antibiotics can help slow the progression of arthritis by reducing the inflammation and the associated pain thereby improving your horse’s comfort and performance. Depending on your horse’s age, use, and level of discomfort, Dr. Nostrant and Dr. Shen will recommend an injection protocol to that will return your horse to its peak athletic performance.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
Platelets are cells that naturally circulate in the blood and specialize in stopping bleeding through coagulation. The same enzymes and protein factors that provide this essential function are also essential and beneficial in aiding the healing of damaged tissues, tendons, and ligaments. . Through processing, platelets can be concentrated and extracted from your horse’s own blood, creating a highly concentrated solution of these critical growth factors or PRP. This concentrated platelet solution is then injected directly into the injured tendon or ligament, often under ultrasound guidance, right at the farm.
IRAP (Interlukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein)
IRAP isolates anti-inflammatory factors directly from the horse’s own blood. These factors relieve pain and inflammation and promote healing of injured structures. Interleukin-1 is a chemical messaging molecule that promotes inflammation. IRAP directly blocks the activity of interleukin-1 and other pro-inflammatory factors to reduce inflammation in the injured joint thereby decreasing ongoing damage. In addition, IRAP provides various anti-inflammatory and growth factors similar to PRP. IRAP can be used to prevent the onset of arthritis in joints de-stabilized by injury or can be used as an alternative to steroid and hyaluronic acid in joint injections. IRAP is also very effective in reducing inflammation in joints after arthroscopic surgery. The process involves processing a sterile to isolate the IRAP molecules. It is then administered as a series of three to six sterile injections at the farm. In some instances a portion of the processed IRAP can also be frozen for up to a year to be used for intermittent isolated treatment throughout the year.
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