Intra-Articular therapy refers to medications that are injected directly into the joint. There are a number of medications that we use frequently to alleviate inflammation and improve healing of the joint environment.
Corticosteroids are medications that dramatically reduce inflammation by blocking phospholipase, an enzyme that is responsible for initiating the inflammatory cascade. Corticosteroids such as Triamcinolone are actually categorized as “chondroprotective” due to their ability to reduce inflammation which leads to cartilage damage.
Hyaluronic Acid or HA is an important molecule of the joint fluid that gives normal synovial fluid it’s viscous quality. HA administered in the joint or by the intra-venous route results in the improvement of the joint environment.
IRAP, short for Interleukin Receptor Antagonist Protein, is a protein that is processed from the horse’s own white blood cells. This protein acts to block the interleukin receptor inside the joint. This breaks the inflammatory cascade and leads to a healthy joint environment.
Adequan or polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is a molecule that exists within the normal articular cartilage lining the joint. Adequan administered within the joint or by the intra-muscular route leads to a better cartilage surface and aids in the healing process of normal cartilage.
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a blood product that is made from the horse’s own blood. In short, a large number of platelets are concentrated in a small amount of plasma which can be administered into a joint or into injured soft tissue. Platelets contain high concentrations of growth factors that assist in speeding up the healing process.
Intra-Articular medications are selected based on the type of injury and joint location. Please feel free to ask us about any of the IA medications and which one might be right for your horse.