Saturday, August 21, 2010

More of Same

Don't Mean to be Boring

My knees are better, but until the reaction to the treatment is complete, they are still sore. The day after all the injections I could hardly walk at all. Makes me much more appreciative of our horses' ability to tolerate pain when you think about it.

Blistering was a common treatment for tendon injuries. The idea is to cause an inflammation in the tendon or ligament, both to bring blood to the area a long with the heat, and also to inflame the tendon so it would build up scar tissue.  The scar tissue then is part of the healing of the damaged structure. One of the treatments for loose stifles was to inject and iodine solution in the tissues around the loose ligaments to cause the same effect.

With external blistering the horseman could see the evidence on the horse's skin with surface burning, hence "blistering."  With internal blisters, there is no visible evidence, except perhaps, some swelling.

Today, with the development of stem cell therapy, the idea is to inject stem cells in the damaged area in order to encourage new tissue to develop instead.  The horse world is well ahead of human medicine where this is concerned. Equine stem cells are reaped from the horse's own fatty tissue. These stem cells are much better programmed to grow into ligament/tendon/cartilage as they are more like that tissue.  Right now, my doctor reaps stem cells from my blood serum and that helps the cartilage in my knees regenerate.

But, the prolotherapy I get along with it is essentially a blistering, using a sucrose solution to irritate the ligaments. It's one step into the future and one step back at the same time.

Either way, the steps I take afterward are pretty challenging. It really makes me appreciate how more courageous a horse is when he's undergone a similar treatment and then is expected to hand walk or, in the case of stifles, exercise.

Amazing creatures, these horses of ours.


  1. It's great that you have found a Doctor well versed in such therapy and not surprising that your insurance finds excuses not to pay for it. "Leeches anyone?" (Pun intended).

  2. I'm all for stem cell therapy and hope they have huge success and quick advancements in this process soon. Feel better.

  3. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Hope the knees get a little better every day!

  4. Not boring. Just keep your spirits up and let your body heal. I am glad that you have an alternative to the TKR. I agree with you on holding out on that for as long as possible.
    Thinking of you and sending tender hugs!

  5. And they can't even rest on a couch with their feet up! My calves are intensely sore from hiking steep trails in MT but that will go away in a day or two. I hope your knees feel better just as fast. Oh, I swam today, first time in years and thought of you. So nice on a hot day.

  6. Ouch sounds painful,but obviously beneficial in the long term.

    A horse at the last yard recently had stem cell treatment for a check ligament I believe...not sure on the outcome as its still early days.....