PRP is blood plasma with a concentrated platelet count. The concentrated platelets are obtained by centrifugation or filtration of venous blood and the plasma obtained can be injected directly into the tendon, ligament lesion or directly into the joint. The advantages of using PRP are the ease of use and administration of growth factors. There are several ways to obtain PRP and Performance Equine veterinary Services has the capability to harvest the blood, process and inject the PRP in the field or at our practice with the Magellan equipment.
Stem Cell Therapies
Stem cells derived from the adipose tissue and BM-derived stem cells are currently used for tendon and ligament healing. Three techniques are available for treatments with BM-derived cells: 1. Direct injection of the BM aspirate, 2. Centrifugation, in order to increase the number of cells in the injection, 3. Culture the cells from the BM aspirate.
The BM aspirate is obtained from the sternum (photos1 and 2) or the tuber coxae with the horse under sedation and local anesthesia.
The centrifugation of the BM has the benefits of higher quantities of cells in the injection and also PRP. The product obtained from centrifugation also has the three components for tendon healing: scaffold, growth factors and stem cells.
The culture of the stem cells is a process that takes 2 to 3 week period, this expands the amount of cells to be injected. The down side of this technique is the delay of treatment and increased cost.
Adipose derived stem cells are obtained from a fat pad that every horse
has near the base of the tail. Not too long ago, the disadvantage of this technique was that surgery was needed and there was delay of a few days to treat the horse because the fat needed to be processed in order to isolate the stem cells. Now we have the latest state of the art technology where we can collect the adipose tissue, process it and implant up to 10 million fresh stem cells in the lesion the same day.
The PRP or stem cells are injected into the lesion with ultrasound guidance in order to target the core of the lesion and maximize the chances to deposit the fluid in right spot.