Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences - Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Document Type



These studies were conducted to elucidate the regional analgesic effect that is observed clinically after treatment of orthopedic disorders with application of extracorporeal shock waves in horses. Regional analgesia after treatment with extracorporeal shock waves presents a concern because it may eliminate protective limiting mechanisms and may place equine athletes with predisposing lesions at risk of sustaining career- or life-ending injuries. Direct percutaneous application of non-focused extracorporeal shock waves to palmar digital nerves in the pastern area of horses resulted in decreased sensory nerve conduction velocities compared with untreated control nerves at 3, 7, and 35 days after treatment. Transmission electron microscopy revealed distinct morphological changes consisting of extensive separation and disruption between the different layers of the myelin sheath in large- to medium-sized myelinated axons of treated palmar digital nerves. Treatment of selected areas of the metacarpus in horses with non-focused extracorporeal shock waves failed to identify a regional analgesic effect when cutaneous sensation was assessed by comparing the nociceptive threshold (limb withdrawal reflex latency, LWRL) between treated and non-treated areas after stimulation with a focused light source. The LWRL responses in all horses were comparable in treated and control areas over time with a significant decrease noted at most sites and time points compared with baseline values.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Daniel J. Burba