Study Evaluates Injectable Treatment for Tendon Injuries

Researchers are evaluating the safety of a new injectable treatment modality for SDFT injuries.

No account yet? Register


Research shows a new treatment modality for tendon injuries could improve healing time in horses and help prevent reinjury. Tom Hedman, PhD, a research associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Biomedical Engineering Coldstream Research Campus’ Soft-Tissue Matrix Modification Research Laboratory, introduced to the audience an injectable, nonbiologic treatment approach called NEXT developed to improve the function of mechanically deficient tissues in horses.

During the May 8 Veterinary Science Seminar "ECM2: Introduction to an Injectable Treatment for Mechanically Dysfunctional Tissues with Initial Results from Equine SDFT Testing," Hedman explained that he originally developed the injectable treatment method for use in humans with degenerative disc disease. But upon moving to Lexington, commonly known as "The Horse Capital of the World," Hedman saw potential for the reagent’s use in horses.

What Is It?

NEXT (nonsurgical exogenous crosslink therapy, sometimes called ECM2 or exogenous crosslink modification of the extracellular matrix) involves chemical modification–using the plant-derived reagent genipin, which Hedman noted the FDA classifies as nontoxic–of connective tissue to improve mechanical and nutritional properties. Although it sounds complicated, the theory behind NEXT is relatively simple, he said

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
251 votes · 503 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!