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Management of soft tissue (tendon, ligament, muscle, fascia, joint capsule, etc.) of the equine athlete has proven to be very challenging. The average industry success rate for return to previous exercise after tendon injury is only 20-30%. To put this in perspective the human success rate in 70-80%!
So how can we explain this massive difference between human and equine rehabilitation? I could write pages and pages on this subject, but in my experience, this all has to do with the way equine exercise levels in rehabilitation are managed. The majority of injured horses are still excessively rested for a long period after a tendon or ligament injury. This will lead to development of high levels of inferior fibers and scar tissue and as a result the healing ligament or tendon loses elasticity. This lack of elasticity leads to less ability for the tendon to deal with high loading exercise with re injury being a result.
It is clear human medicine acknowledges this problem and forces people to exercise as much as possible after injury or surgery. The biggest problem we face in the equine industry is that controlled loading and exercise is practically impossible without some tools. I was blessed enough to start working with a Dynamic Support System Equine and boot and the UTC technology about 10 years ago. The combined use of the brace and fiber assessment scans leads to customised and fully controlled loading of the tendon/ligament. Similar results can be achieved using other technologies like aqua-treadmill and adjusting walking surface but all concepts that are successful apply restricted loading exercises early after injury in order to get long term successful outcome.
For more information regarding the DSS boot and UCT technology please visit