New treatments for osteoarthritis are always welcomed, and many times a cutting-edge product is presented at AAEP to advise practitioners of the possibilities to manage the equine athlete. It is thought that up to 60% of all lameness is attributable to osteoarthritis. One topic of discussion at the 2019 AAEP Convention focused on intra-articular administration of 2.5% polyacrylamide (PAAG) hydrogel (Arthramid).

The hydrogel used consisted of 2.5% cross-linked polyacrylamide and 97.5% non-pyrogenic water. The material is hydrophilic, homogenous, biocompatible and viscoelastic. It maintains its volume through continual exchange of water with the surrounding tissues. Following injection, cells are able to integrate into the synovium through blood vessel ingrowth, collagen deposition and water exchange. The hydrogel does not become encapsulated, but rather integrates within the tissues to stabilize the joint capsule and synovium while also increasing joint capsule elasticity to achieve improvements superior even to a normal joint.

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Dr Leigh de Clifford BVSc CertAVP PGDipVPS MSc MRCVS

Article posted by Nancy S Loving DVM, in Equi Management. 30 Mar, 2020.