LAMENESS THERAPEUTIC MODALITIES

Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein Therapy (IRAP®)
IRAP therapy is an innovative treatment that has been recently developed for treatment of inflamed or arthritic joints. IRAP treatment uses a plasma sample derived from the horse's own blood, which is injected into the affected joint. The plasma sample has a high concentration of anti-inflammatory proteins that block the harmful effects of Interleukin-1, which contributes to the development of arthritis by destroying the cartilage of the joint.

Blood is drawn from the horse at the farm using a specially designed syringe. The blood is incubated for 24 hours in that syringe with glass beads designed to amplify the number of anti-inflammatory proteins in the plasma. After 24 hours, the blood is centrifuged to separate the plasma from the blood cells and the resulting plasma is injected back into the affected joint. Usually several treatments can be derived from one syringe and frozen for future use. The joint is treated at 4-7 day intervals as needed to control the inflammation. This can be a useful treatment because it has fewer negative effects on the joint than traditional corticosteroid joint injections. Since the therapy uses the horse's own anti-inflammatory protein, it is not disallowed in competition.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
PRP therapy can be used to help healing of injured tendons and ligaments. PRP is a substance derived from the horse's own blood, which is then injected into the area of injury. The platelets are separated out from the patient's blood using a special centrifuge and suspended in a small amount of plasma, resulting in a substance that is rich in growth factors. This is a simple, yet effective way to enhance healing of tendons and ligaments. This treatment can be accomplished in one visit to the farm and many cases will respond over time with a single PRP injection.

Stem Cells
Stem cell therapy uses the horse's own stem cells for treatment of musculoskeletal disease. A sample of bone marrow is harvested from the sternum of the horse and sent to Dr. Nixon's laboratory at Cornell (http://www.vetcell.com/) where the cells are grown in tissue culture and multiplied, so that they are available in larger numbers for treatment. The harvesting procedure can be done at the farm under mild sedation. Following culture, the stem cells are shipped back to MEVC and injected directly into the area of concern. This treatment is helpful for a variety of conditions such as tendon and ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, and OCD lesions.

Acupuncture
IVAS certified acupuncture is available upon request and offered as part of many ongoing lameness management cases. Acupuncture treatments are performed at the farm. This treatment has proven to be successful with performance horses, particularly those with neck and back problems. Acupuncture therapy is also an effective way to treat some arthritic conditions and allergies.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy uses focused high-energy sound waves to treat a targeted area of injury. Horses with suspensory ligament desmitis, chronic back muscle soreness, and certain bony and soft tissue injuries can be helped with this therapy. Following diagnosis of the problem, ESWT is performed on a standing, sedated horse and each treatment usually takes about 20 minutes. The treatment is delivered from the shock wave unit to the surface of the horse's skin with a hand unit that is directed by the veterinarian. In most cases, a series of several treatments are spaced at 2-3 week intervals to enhance healing and provide pain relief.