Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a modality that is used for degenerative joint disease and healing. Shock waves are pressure waves, which are delivered to injured tissue and joints through a trode. When they enter tissue, those waves initiate healing and improve joint health. This is one of the only modalities we have that actually has the potential to reverse joint disease and improve joint health.
In addition, ESWT has been used extensively in human medicine for burn wounds and other serious skin injuries. This modality can also be used for animals to speed healing of both new and old, non-healing wounds. This system uses a higher energy output that allows for deeper penetration and faster wound healing.
ESWT is slightly uncomfortable during administration, so we typically use sedation to prevent any discomfort an animal may feel during application of the modality.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP has been demonstrated in humans and animals to accelerate the healing in a variety of tissues throughout the body, including ligaments, tendons, and bone. PRP uses that patient’s own cells to stimulate healing at the site of injection. Platelets are best known for helping to form blood clots, but they are also key players in recovery from tissue damage through the release of numerous compounds (growth factors) that mediate inflammation and expedite healing.
The treatment process involves drawing blood from a patient, spinning it down in a specialized centrifuge, and removing the fraction of the blood rich in platelets, growth factors, and monocytes; thus creating their own platelet rich plasma (PRP). This can then be injected directly into the site of injury or pain. By placing high concentrations of platelets at the site of inflammation or damage, we can send these platelets to work where they are most needed. The procedure can take less than an hour and does require some sedation for the safety of the patient when injecting into a small joint space. Numerous conditions that we deal with every day may benefit from a PRP injection such as: tendonitis, arthritis, ligament injury, hip and elbow dysplasia, muscle injury and many more.