Shockwave: Waves of the Future

A new method of treating orthopedic injuries in horses is gaining interest among veterinarians and horse owners. Veterinarians around the world are using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and are encouraged by the results.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

A new method of treating orthopedic injuries in horses is gaining interest among veterinarians and horse owners. Veterinarians around the world are using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and are encouraged by the results they are seeing with this technology. This article will summarize current research and applications of ESWT in human and veterinary medicine. Additionally, I will share some of my own experiences with equine cases.

Leading members of the veterinary community met in early March in Simpsonville, Ky., to discuss the latest in ESWT treatment findings and to introduce the technology to veterinarians interested in employing the therapy in their own practices. For more information on the Equine Musculoskeletal High-Energy Shockwave Therapy Symposium, see the news item in this month’s NewsFront section.

What Is ESWT?

Extracorporeal shock waves are energy waves that are transmitted through the skin into deeper anatomical structures. The waves are characterized by high positive pressures, and their energy is transmitted through the skin and underlying soft tissues with little to no harmful effect to the superficial tissues. The energy of the waves predominately is deposited within bone and soft tissues (as in high suspensory ligament injuries). Although the exact medical process is not clear, it appears that when the shock waves’ energy is delivered, two things occur: 1) A transient period of pain relief (analgesia), and 2) An eventual increased rate of bone and tissue remodeling (healing). Because of these effects, ESWT has gained considerable attention for the promotion of healing and remodeling musculoskeletal injuries.

Several types of machines are used currently for ESWT. Therefore, results seen with one machine type might not necessarily apply for other machine types. A debate currently exists regarding the importance of using an ESWT machine that focuses the shock waves. “Focused” machines create a fundamentally different wave than a “radial head” emits. While both types of machines create “pressure gradient waves,” the focused units create waves that focus on a specific point. Focused shock wave machines are larger and more expensive than machines that emit a radial shock wave, which spreads out concentrically from the unit

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com 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 TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Mark Revenaugh, DVM, is an Illinois native who has worked with and ridden horses all of his life. Graduating from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, he now operates a unique, leading-edge” equine practice that focuses exclusively on lameness and performance issues with a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic options. Since 1997

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

How do you prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Please check all that apply.
146 votes · 345 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 TheHorse.com!