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Use of computed tomography to diagnose new bone formation associated with desmitis of the proximal aspect of the suspensory ligament in third metacarpal or third metatarsal bones of three horses

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  • 1 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.
  • | 2 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.
  • | 3 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.
  • | 4 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.
  • | 5 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.
  • | 6 Clinique Equine Desbrosse, 18 rue des Champs, La Brosse, 78470, St Lambert des Bois, France.

Abstract

Case Description—3 horses with lameness localized to the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus.

Clinical Findings—All horses had evidence of problems that originated from the proximal aspect of the suspensory ligament (PASL), including signs of pain on palpation, positive results of diagnostic nerve blocks, ultrasonographic detection of enlargement and diffuse areas of reduced echogenicity in the proximal region of insertion of the ligament, and radiographic detection of increased mineral opacity in the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus. Desmitis of the PASL was diagnosed in each horse; however, conservative treatment failed to improve the lameness. The horses were taken to surgery for splitting of the PASL and osteostixis of the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone. At that time, the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus was evaluated via computed tomography (CT), which identified new bone formation at the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone that had not already been identified.

Treatment and Outcome—In all horses, the newly formed bone was removed surgically under radiographic and CT guidance, and the splitting and osteostixis that had been planned were performed. After rehabilitation, all horses returned to full training at 6 months after surgery. All horses responded well to the surgical treatment and were sound 8 months afterward.

Clinical Relevance—Use of CT imaging should be considered in lame horses with pain associated with the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bones that does not improve with conservative treatment.

Abstract

Case Description—3 horses with lameness localized to the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus.

Clinical Findings—All horses had evidence of problems that originated from the proximal aspect of the suspensory ligament (PASL), including signs of pain on palpation, positive results of diagnostic nerve blocks, ultrasonographic detection of enlargement and diffuse areas of reduced echogenicity in the proximal region of insertion of the ligament, and radiographic detection of increased mineral opacity in the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus. Desmitis of the PASL was diagnosed in each horse; however, conservative treatment failed to improve the lameness. The horses were taken to surgery for splitting of the PASL and osteostixis of the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone. At that time, the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus was evaluated via computed tomography (CT), which identified new bone formation at the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone that had not already been identified.

Treatment and Outcome—In all horses, the newly formed bone was removed surgically under radiographic and CT guidance, and the splitting and osteostixis that had been planned were performed. After rehabilitation, all horses returned to full training at 6 months after surgery. All horses responded well to the surgical treatment and were sound 8 months afterward.

Clinical Relevance—Use of CT imaging should be considered in lame horses with pain associated with the proximal aspect of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bones that does not improve with conservative treatment.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Clegg's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, South Wirral L64 7TE, England.

Address correspondence to Dr. Vandeweerd.