Animals : an open access journal from MDPI2020; 10(8); 1327; doi: 10.3390/ani10081327

Effects of High Intensity Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Tendon and Ligament Injuries in Performance Horses.

Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of high intensity laser therapy (HILT) on tendon and ligament injury treatment in horses. Twenty six horses with tendinopathies were randomly assigned to a HILT treated or to a non-treated group. Each horse was subjected to the same rehabilitation programme. Horses from the treatment group underwent a series of fifteen HILT treatments with the same parameters. Clinical and ultrasound assessments were performed by the same veterinarian and were carried out before (day 0), during (day 13-15) and after treatment (day 38-40). Clinical evaluation included: pain, swelling and lameness of the affected limb. The ultrasound examination evaluated lesion echogenicity and lesion percentage. After the treatment, pain, swelling and lameness were significantly improved by HILT compared with the control group ( = 0.023, 0.008 and 0.044, respectively). No significant changes were found in lesion echogenicity degree between both groups in measurements taken during treatment ( = 0.188) and after treatment ( = 0.070). For lesion percentage reduction, the statistical modelling showed a significant improvement in the HILT group compared with the control group during ( = 0.038) and after treatment ( = 0.019). In conclusion, HILT promoted analgesic and anti-oedema effects, with visual lameness reduction in horses with tendon and ligament injuries, and reduced lesion percentage but did not influence change in lesion echogenicity.
Publication Date: 2020-07-31 PubMed ID: 32751968PubMed Central: PMC7459490DOI: 10.3390/ani10081327Google Scholar: Lookup
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The research article discusses a study conducted to assess the impact of high intensity laser therapy (HILT) in treating tendon and ligament injuries in horses.

Research Methodology

  • The sample for this study comprised 26 horses suffering from tendinopathies. These animals were randomly divided into two groups: one that received HILT treatment, and a control group that was not treated with HILT.
  • Every horse, regardless of the group they were assigned to, followed the same rehabilitation program.
  • Horses in the treatment group were given fifteen HILT treatments under the same parameters.
  • Assessments, both clinical and ultrasound-based, were conducted by the same veterinarian on three separate occasions: before starting the treatment (day 0), midway through the treatment (day 13-15), and after completing the treatment (day 38-40).
  • The clinical evaluation involved checking for signs of pain, swelling, and lameness in the affected limb. The ultrasound examination assessed the echogenicity of the lesion and the lesion percentage.

Research Findings

  • The results highlighted a significant improvement in pain, swelling, and lameness in the horses that were given HILT treatment, compared to those in the control group.
  • However, in terms of lesion echogenicity—a measure of density or hardness—there were no significant differences observed between the two groups, either during or after the treatment.
  • The statistical modeling indicated a significant decrease in the lesion percentage in horses that underwent HILT, both during and after the treatment, compared to the control group.

Research Conclusion

  • Findings from this study suggest that HILT can effectively alleviate pain and reduce swelling, visibly improve lameness, and decrease the lesion percentage in horses suffering from tendon and ligament injuries.
  • However, the treatment does not seem to have an impact on lesion echogenicity.

Cite This Article

Zieliu0144ska P, Nicpou0144 J, Kieu0142bowicz Z, Soroko M, Dudek K, Zaborski D. (2020). Effects of High Intensity Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Tendon and Ligament Injuries in Performance Horses. Animals (Basel), 10(8), 1327.


ISSN: 2076-2615
NlmUniqueID: 101635614
Country: Switzerland
Language: English
Volume: 10
Issue: 8
PII: 1327

Researcher Affiliations

Zieliu0144ska, Paulina
  • Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Plac Grunwaldzki 51, 50-366 Wrocu0142aw, Poland.
Nicpou0144, Jakub
  • Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Plac Grunwaldzki 51, 50-366 Wrocu0142aw, Poland.
Kieu0142bowicz, Zdzisu0142aw
  • Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Plac Grunwaldzki 51, 50-366 Wrocu0142aw, Poland.
Soroko, Maria
  • Department of Horse Breeding and Equestrian Studies, The Faculty of Biology and Animal Science, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Kou017cuchowska 5A, 51-161 Wrocu0142aw, Poland.
Dudek, Krzysztof
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Wroclaw University of Technology, u0141ukasiewicza 7/9, 50-231 Wrocu0142aw, Poland.
Zaborski, Daniel
  • Department of Ruminants Science, West Pomeranian University of Science and Technology, Doktora Judyma 10, 71-466 Szczecin, Poland.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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