Equine Vet Ireland are exerts in dealing with Equine Tendon Injuries and Laminitis
The hospital has invested in world class leading edge technology, including Standing MRI
How can MRI help?
Often during a lameness work-up ‘nerve blocks’ will be used to discover where the pain is coming from. This is then followed with X-ray or ultrasound examinations but because these imaging tools only show bone (x-ray) or some soft tissues (ultrasound) it is common not be able to see anything significant.
In these cases a standing MRI can save time, money and worry through an early, safe and accurate diagnosis.
Early – because as soon as the ‘nerve blocks’ confirm the location you can ask for an MRI to help reach an accurate diagnosis. You don’t have to spend money trying different treatments and then MRI in 3 – 6 months time as a last resort.
Safe – because the Hallmarq system offers the choice of standing MRI thus avoiding the inherent risks of general anaesthesia.
Accurate – because in the absence of X-ray or ultrasound findings you are having to rely on judgement not a positive diagnosis. For example published papers report that injecting the navicular bursa can give good results provided there are no associated changes on the flexor surface of the navicular bone; in these cases the prognosis is poor. A standing MRI will help you differentiate which palmar foot pain cases have a good prognosis and merit treatment and which don’t.
Shock Wave Therapy
Shock wave therapy is proving to be a new and exciting way of treating bone, ligament and tendon injuries in horses. The treatment applies numerous high frequency impulses to the injured tissue whilst the horse is sedated. The shock wave therapy stimulates the horse’s own repair systems to create better and faster tissue repair.
SWT, also called extracorporeal radial shock wave therapy, since the shock waves are created external to the body, creates high energy waves in tissues which are similar to miniature lightning explosions which displace mass surrounding them. The technology was first used in human medicine in the 1980′s to break up kidney stones so that they could be eliminated from the body without invasive surgery.
SWT has been used at Troytown Hospital for the last 10 years, during which time we have taken part in trials to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the therapy. Since that time numerous studies have been performed which have shown the effectiveness of SWT in both humans and horses. In human patients the treatment is now used routinely for conditions such as tennis elbow, Achilles and patella tendonitis.
Shock wave therapy (SWT) enhances blood flow and cellular metabolism, which helps to stimulate ligament and bone growth and decrease overall rehabilitation time following injury.
The treatment also has the benefit of reducing pain in many chronic injuries such as splint bone fractures and chronic tearing of ligaments. The course of SWT is usually administered every 3 weeks over a 6 to 8 week period on an out-patient basis.
Conditions which may benefit from SWT include sesamoiditis, splints, tendon and ligament injuries, such as high suspensory desmitis (strain of the proximal suspensory ligament), back problems, bony reactions and some cases of fractures.