Revolutionising the rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries as we know it
Equinetendon.com is the world leader in the management and rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries.
Our multidisciplinary team under the guidance of veterinarian Henk Offereins uses both the Advanced Tendon Tissue Assessment (UTC) scanner and our Dynamic Support System (Equestride) to offer a rehabilitation package far superior to what is currently available on the market. With a strong focus on the tendon and suspensory issues, equinetendon.com has already proven itself by assisting numerous horses to return to top-level competition/use after sustaining minor to severe soft tissue injuries.
Prevention and monitoring
Tendon injuries may be the result of single macro-trauma. But there is growing evidence that tendon lesions are frequently preceded by gradual disintegration going on for months or even longer before injuries become manifest. So, clinical symptoms are frequently only the tip of the iceberg.
The best technology to accurately assess the quality of tendon tissue is called Ultrasound Tissue Characterisation (UTC) scanning. UTC is currently used by leading sports institutes all over the world and is vastly gaining ground as being the golden standard for Equine Tendon Management. It is mobile and the assessment scan doesn’t cost a fortune (like MRI).
Diagnosis of Injuries & Early Prevention
In order to achieve the best possible healing of a tendon we need the best possible diagnoses as early as possible and with the maximum amount of information regarding the injury.
The Tendon Tissue Assessment ability of the technology we use (UTC) is so great that we can see minor injuries in tendon tissue far before the horse develops an actual injury.
The technology allows us to see the effects of ongoing low grade mild overstraining leading to tendon degeneration without symptoms, but also acute undetected injuries. Both findings form the foundation for full-scale injuries at a later stage (studies show between 2-4 weeks later).
Studies showed that race-effects frequently reverse within less than 4 days post-race. In those cases, we believe that there is no damage to the fibre structure, but rather an increased cell metabolism in the tendon.
Rehabilitation & Injury Management
As we all know, it is not easy to get the equine athlete back on track after a tendon injury.
It is not a simple, single-stage diagnosis and there is no cure-all. Treatment and management need to be tailor-made, based on the stage of the lesion and it’s loading capacity.
The schedule below was developed for the staging of repair after injury;
- during inflammation and demarcation of the lesion, there are mainly black fibre echoes representing fluid and bleeding.
- during the first organisation (fibrillogenesis), there is a decrease of black echoes and an increase of red ones and this indicates the formation of a new fibre structure.
- during bundle formation, green and blue echoes do increase. At the same time, red and black echoes decrease sharply, indicating the organisation of early fibrils into tendon bundles.
- during the remodelling stage, a sharp drop of blue echoes can be observed. This means less smooth tendon bundles are remodelled into intact and aligned bundles, coloured green
Management of Tendons & Ligaments
Through years of selective breeding we have selected horses that best suit our needs. Those needs often include being able to do a type of work, having a pleasant character and be able to do the job without getting sick or injured.
The majority of the horses we deal with are in some way or the other “Equine Athletes”. Per definition athletes push themselves further than others, and that’s why we select them. By pushing that extra bit during the last jump or final sprint, these horses are therefore more likely to get injured.
It is for this reason that we see it as our duty to make sure we look after our equine athletes by being proactive in the prevention and management of injuries.
Tendons, ligaments and muscles are per definition dynamic in nature and management of these structures need to be dynamic as well. We can’t accept tendons to just “blow” or see young potential athletes never make it to their true potential.