Athletic horses are prone to musculoskeletal injury of tendons or ligaments, any of which can be performance-limiting or career-ending. These tissues tend to have a relatively poor blood supply and limited cell populations, making it difficult for them to heal with other than scar tissue. Fibrous scar tissue at the "healed" site has less elasticity and function than normal surrounding tendon or ligament. Thus, the risk of reinjury increases, particularly in adult equine athletes.
Recent medical advances are relying on the use of regenerative therapy to stimulate healing for many orthopedic injuries as well as for treating bone and joint injuries and laminitis. Stem cells are unique in their capability to develop into different cell lines to facilitate tissue repair.
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