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shock therapy

Shock therapy in a horse's forelimb

 

The Hospital has been offering the facility of shock therapy since Aug 2005.

The technology of shock wave therapy is derived from the medical procedure of lithotripsy. Lithotripsy is the exploding of brittle kidney stones via the application of focused high energy pulsed energy waves or shock waves. These waves create shearing forces that break kidney stones into many small pieces allowing for it to be passed, excellent news for the patient. As a matter of coincidence, it was found that shock waves focused on areas of bone would stimulate new bone formation. This has served as the foundation for a great deal of recent research in human and veterinarian medicine. Shock wave therapy appears to stimulate bone healing through a number of physiologic processes which are not fully understood. It is known that shock waves focused on areas of bone appear to significantly increase circulation and the presences of bone forming cells named osteoblasts. Bone densitiy and biomechanical structure appear to increase significantly in the weeks following shock wave therapy. Similar processes are thought to occur in ligaments and tendons when shock waves are focused on injured areas.


To date, shock wave therapy has been used successfully on horses with injuries or inflammatory conditions of the suspensory ligament and lumbosacral ligament. The therapy isusually performed in the standing sedated horse. The energy level, frequency and number of shocks to be applied to a specific injury are determined. The transponder is applied to the horses clipped skin with acoustic coupling gel. The shocks are then applied to the horse with minimal discomfort. The procedure is usually completed in 20 to 30 minutes. Most injuries require 2 to 3 treatments at 7-14 day intervals

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