Following more than six years of development and testing, a new system designed specifically for the treatment of lameness in horses has been introduced for use by horse owners, trainers and veterinarians.
Field tests of the IoniCare System by veterinarians, horse owners and trainers treating hundreds of horses at more than a dozen U.S. stables and farms over the past six years have resulted in consistently positive outcomes, according to the System’s developer, Equine OrthoCare.
“My years of experience with the IoniCare System has demonstrated positive results in the treatment of injury and lameness involving especially the lower limbs, from carpus and tarsus to feet,” reports Daniel V. Flynn, VMD, medical director for the Maryland company, who specializes in lameness among racing and performance horses and has been treating horses in his own practice with the technology as well as overseeing the company’s field testing.
Veterinarians and trainers have used the IoniCare System on athletic horses in competition to treat joint and connective tissue injuries including bone, cartilage, tendon and ligament, including degenerative joint disease, which accounts for the majority of lameness.
Focusing on the limbs, the System has produced positive outcomes treating joints, including coffin, fetlock, carpal and hock, along with bicipital bursitis, and tendon and ligament injuries such as bowed tendon and annular ligament tears. The system has also been shown to effectively treat bucked shins, as well as non-displaced, non-union splint bone, and selected sesamoid fractures.
Veterinarians have found the non-drug, non-invasive System effective in treating even cases that have failed to respond to conventional treatments, including pain and anti-inflammatory drugs, injections and nutritional supplements.
“Treatment with the System appears to increase circulation and resolve bone and joint inflammation, with a reduction of associated heat and pain, followed by a restoration toward normal function” said Dr. Flynn, owner of the Georgetown Equine Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, and past president of American Association of Equine Practitioners association.
More than six years of development, research and field-testing have gone into the IoniCare System, which is based on the established scientific principle that electrical field therapies positively influence the repair mechanisms of bone, cartilage and other connective tissue.
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The IoniCare System 3 delivers a patented, highly optimized, pulsed, low amplitude, subliminal electrical signal to the treatment site. This unique signal creates a specific electrical field within the treatment site designed to mimic the internal electrical fields produced naturally in the body when healthy. The System’s unique signal is believed to restore to normal the strength of the natural internal electrical fields, which have been diminished as a result of tissue injury or disease such as osteoarthritis. This appears to both promote regenerative factors and interrupt or inhibit degenerative and inflammatory processes.
The IoniCare System differs from the other electrotherapy devices in that it is the therapeutic electrical field generated by the System that appears to trigger the resultant healing, with pain relief as a by-product. Sensory nerve stimulators treat pain only and include transcutaneous (TENS) and interferential stimulators. Motor nerve devices stimulate muscle contraction and include neuromuscular, functional and galvanic stimulators. Other microcurrent devices target pain receptors or tissues, but do not create the unique IoniCare electrical field.
Accelerated healing with the IoniCare System allows quicker real recovery and return to activity. Users found that early and regular treatment prevents minor issues from becoming major problems. The System can be used in conjunction with other non-electrical treatments. Since IoniCare is not a drug and is non-invasive, there is no reduction in effectiveness over time. Horses generally adapt to treatment as part of their regular routine.
The market potential for an effective equine lameness treatment system is sizeable. With the U.S. horse population currently said to exceed 9 million [Source: American Horse Council web site], this means that an estimated 5 million horses are currently affected by osteoarthritis alone.
The IoniCare® System 3 is an equine adaptation and application of the patented technology used in the award-winning BioniCare® Knee Device, which has been clinically demonstrated to be effective in treating osteoarthritis of the human knee. More than 80,000 human patients have been treated with BioniCare technology since 2003, and it has been shown to be comparable in effect with a total knee replacement.
About Equine OrthoCare LLC
Equine OrthoCare LLC develops and markets science-based technology products to alleviate equine lameness. Founders of Equine OrthoCare began developing the IoniCare System 3 in 2005, based on previously proven technology. The privately held company is headquartered in Phoenix, Maryland, northeast of Baltimore.