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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2006
    New York

    Default Torn Medial Suspensory - Shockwave Therapy vs Stem Cell?

    The horse I half-lease has been diagnosed with a torn medial suspensory and the vet recommended shockwave once the heat is gone. But my trainer said something about stem cell therapy?

    Anyone have any knowledge/experience about one versus the other? Apparently the latter results in less/no calcification...

    (Just got the news tonight from the owner, and we're both pretty depressed. We know it happens, but it was a hard summer (bout of Lymes) and once he was pretty much over that, this happened. If anyone has any hopeful/happy stories to share, that would be fab. We know "stuff" happens, but for today, at least, we're throwing ourselves a pity party...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2001


    Hey we should form a club, my horse did the same on Sept 10th. Diagnosis on Sept 21st was "RF Medial Susp branch, grade 1 lesion in 3B-3C. Small tear at the insertion" In other words the was a small tear at the sesamoid bone area and a wee bit of bone came off. Vet said 3 months stall rest is typical for this type injury. At diagnosis he recomended shockwave, PRP and stem cell. I wanted to wait and think it over. By the time I figured out that I wanted to go ahead and do Shockwave a month had passed by. The vet said wait another day and I'll be out to re-ultrasound the ligament and we'll start SW then if need be. SO anyways, we re-ultrasounded the leg yesterday and the lesion was filling in nicely. The vet said it was healing well on its own and didn't recommend any other therapies at the time. We got the go ahead for walking under saddle 30 min a day for the next 30 days and re-ultrasound and evaluate then.

    Now here's the caveat; the vet would have pushed the SW,PRP, SC therapies IF my horse was like a racehorse that needed to get healed and go earn $$, if the horse was an upper level eventer with designs on, I dunno something big. But my horse in none of the above, I love him to pieces and he's priceless to me but at 14yo and with horrible front feet and other conformational issues I was concerned that if I spent 2k on the suspen in the RF then I'd be facing another $$ issue in another leg sooner than later. I guess it's called Murphey's Law. Really I'll be thrilled to have my guy sound and hacking out. Compeating at novice will be a plus and at the moment sounds totally doable in this vets opinion.

    Sorry I have no helpful info on the SW or SC therapies, but someone on here will. I can tell you what I did with my guy to get him where he is today.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2008


    I shockwaved my horses suspensory, but when he got it the stem cell wasn't big, and honestly wouldn't have happened on my budget. His final ultrasound after three treatments showed that the tendon had healed reallly well. He proceeded to hurt every other part of his body, but held up to showing in the 3'6" jumpers so far *knocks wood*

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001


    There is no comparison. Both are effective and useful in their appropriate use. ECSWT is best in dense tissues such as bone and insertion sites. Stem cells do not always work but are more effective in deeper tissues and where the tissue has completely failed, e.g. tendon tear etc.

    One can not rule one over the other nor are they necessarily interchangeable. The vet knows more about the medicine than the trainer. They know more about the where and when a treatment should or should not be used.

    I will throw an additional potential treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). In race horse studies it is more effective than stem cell or ECSWT in suspensory branch injuries, depending on the the lesion.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001


    we did shockwave immediately after diagnosis (3 sessions i believe).
    we were given 3 options as far as other treatment - stem cell, PPP, or a combination of PPP and tendon splitting.
    stem cell was v. expensive and my mare was healing on her own so we decided to wait and if she didn't continue improving we'd go with the combo of PPP and tendon splitting (the way the vet explained it to me she'd actually just 'poke' the tendon w/ a needle, not actually slice it). my vet has had really good success using those two things together. it is much cheaper than stem cell. but i'm still glad we didn't have to do it
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008


    I did both on a big tear of the superficial flexor tendon in my dressage horse; neither worked for us. Somebody has to be in the unsuccessful percentage; guess it was just our turn.

    good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2009
    Paddle faster! I hear banjo music...


    Do stem cells with stem cell. By far the most successful course of action.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    City of delusion in the state of total denial


    My sister's horse had good luck with three sessions of Shockwave therapy. Stem cell was discussed but the cost was prohibitive and the vet's opinion was that Shockwave wouldn't be any less effective in his case.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG

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