Superficial digital flexor tendinitis treatment using high-intensity laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound in polo ponies

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Angkana Kidtiwong
Pemika Issariyodom
Ubon Pirunsan
Kannika Na Lampang
Porrakote Rungsri


High-intensity laser therapy (HILT) is an alternative technique that should provide better results than therapeutic ultrasound in the treatment of tendinitis. However, there has not yet been a study to support this hypothesis in horses, especially in polo ponies. This study aims to follow up the outcomes of high-intensity laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound in tendinitis polo ponies in Thailand. Twelve limbs with tendinitis from 10 ponies were included in the study after lameness examination; the limbs were confirmed to have tendinitis via ultrasonography. The ponies were randomized to high-intensity laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound group. Recordings of the severity of the cross-sectional area (CSA), echogenicity score, fiber alignment score (FAS), lameness examination and pain responsive were performed on day 0, day 8, day 30 and day 60. The samples were randomized to six limbs in each treatment group. The results show that there was no significantly change in the CSA within treatment groups (HILT: p = 0.2; therapeutic ultrasound p > 0.9) and between the treatment group (p > 0.9), echogenicity score or FAS within and between the treatment group in 60 days of study. None of the ponies in this study experienced skin reactions from the treatment. In conclusion, both high-intensity laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound are safe to use in the tendinitis of polo ponies and have the ability to decrease inflammation. However, a rehabilitation program is still the most important part that should be controlled along with the treatment. 

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Kidtiwong, A. ., Issariyodom, P. ., Pirunsan, U. ., Na Lampang, K. ., & Rungsri, P. . (2022). Superficial digital flexor tendinitis treatment using high-intensity laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound in polo ponies: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 20(2), 253–266. Retrieved from
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