Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a relatively new method of treatment for lameness in horses. Shockwaves have been used in humans for over 20 years for the treatment of kidney stones and orthopedic diseases such as stress fractures, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), and non-union fractures. Shockwaves are high-energy sound waves, which are transmitted to the affected body part. There, they enhance healing by trigger natural repair mechanisms. Shockwaves have been shown to stimulate bone formation, healing of tendons and ligaments and produce marked analgesia (pain relief). Shockwave therapy constitutes a new modality for treating lameness of horses.
Shockwave therapy is useful for a number of conditions causing lameness in the horse. These conditions include:
• Suspensory ligament disease
• Bowed tendons
• Bone spavin
• Sore backs
• Navicular syndrome also known as delayed unions
• Delayed or non-healing fractures