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  • Author or Editor: Robert K. Schneider x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical features of horses with a slab fracture of the central or third tarsal bone and to report outcome of horses in which treatment did not include surgery.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—25 horses (14 Standardbreds, 6 Thoroughbreds, 5 Quarter Horses).

Procedure—Medical records of horses with a slab fracture of the central (n = 9) or third (16) tarsal bone were reviewed. Only horses for which treatment consisted of confinement to a stall were included in this study. Clinical features and radiographic findings were recorded and summarized. Outcome was determined for racing breeds by obtaining official lifetime race results. Outcome for Quarter Horses was determined by phone survey of the owners.

Results—16 (64%) horses had a successful outcome. Ten of 14 (71%) Standardbreds and 2 of 6 Thoroughbreds returned to racing and started at least 5 races after injury. Four of 5 Quarter Horses for which follow-up information was available successfully returned to their previous activity. Sex, age, limb affected, or gait was not associated with final outcome. Percentage of racehorses with central tarsal bone fractures that had a successful outcome (2/7) was significantly less than percentage with third tarsal bone fractures that did (10/13).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that enforced rest without surgical fixation can be an effective therapeutic option for horses with a slab fracture of the central or third tarsal bone, even if athletic function is expected. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1949–1954)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the use of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for identifying subchondral bone damage in the distal limbs of horses.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—11 horses.

Procedure—Medical records of horses with lameness and subsequent evidence of subchondral bone damage as determined by MR imaging were reviewed. Severity and duration of lameness, results of diagnostic local anesthesia and diagnostic testing, surgical and necropsy findings, and treatment were recorded. Outcome was determined by follow-up information obtained from the owner or referring veterinarian.

Results—Lameness was localized by physical examination and diagnostic local anesthesia. Lameness was localized to the metacarpophalangeal or metatarsophalangeal joint in 4 horses, distal interphalangeal joint in 5 horses, and tarsocrural joint in 2 horses. The duration of lameness ranged from 2 weeks to 20 months. Magnetic resonance imaging of the affected joints revealed abnormal fluid accumulation within the subchondral bone. None of the abnormalities observed by MR imaging were detected by radiography. Subchondral bone damage was diagnosed in all horses. Arthroscopy of the affected joint was performed in 4 horses. Communication with the articular surface of the affected bone was suspected on the basis of results of MR imaging in 4 horses and was confirmed by arthroscopy in 1 horse and by necropsy in 1 horse.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Magnetic resonance imaging was useful for providing a diagnosis when other imaging techniques did not definitively identify the cause of lameness. Subchondral bone damage was clearly identified by MR imaging and should be considered as a cause of lameness in horses in which radiographic findings are unremarkable. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:411–418)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association