Stem Cell Treatment is the latest method used to stimulate tendon and ligament injury repair. It also takes cartilage repair at a different level. Horses , and canines recover quicker and better after an injury when treated with Stem Cell implantation.
A stem cell has pluripotency (it can become any type of cell) or multipotency (it can become any cell, but with limitations).
Current technology enables us to take cells from a horse and implant the tissue directly into the same horse (known as autologous therapy). We never use cells from one horse to treat another. It is a fairly sophisticated procedure that must be done in a clinic environment. When treating a tendon or ligament injury the horse can go back home on the same day of the procedure which is performed under sedation and using ultrasound to guide the injection. Injections of stem cells into joints or other more complicated lesions may sometimes necessitate a general anaesthetic, particularly if the treatment requires inspection and treatment via keyhole arthroscopic surgery. These cases will need to be hospitalised for a day or two.
The veterinary surgeon responsible for your horse will discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with stem cell therapy, together with post-implantation care and exercise. Complications are very rare. In most cases, we like to see the horse again at the clinic for a follow-up assessment between one and three months after implantation.
If you have any specific questions about the procedure, costs, or the value of stem cells in treating injuries in horses, please contact the clinic.