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To develop a reliable method for injection of the tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint of horses through a medial approach and to characterize anatomy of the synovial recesses of the TMT joint with CT.


13 pairs of fresh cadaveric equine tarsi.


TMT joints were assessed with radiography and CT. Twelve pairs of TMT joints were assigned to an experienced veterinarian (8 joints) or veterinary student (16 joints) for injection with contrast medium through a medial or a lateral approach. Every TMT joint was then reexamined radiographically and with CT to assess diffusion of contrast medium. The number of attempts for the lateral and medial approaches between and within investigators was evaluated, which included evaluation of the diffusion of contrast solution in relation to the approach used.


All 24 TMT joints were successfully injected, as confirmed with radiography and CT. There was no significant difference in the number of attempts between the medial and lateral approaches and between investigators. No significant difference was detected in the distribution of contrast medium in each synovial recess between the medial and lateral approaches.


The medial approach described here for injection of the TMT joint of horses was highly reliable. It involved use of an easily palpable anatomic landmark on the mediodistal aspect of the TMT joint. An established alternative method for injection of the TMT joint may be useful in clinical practice for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, although a medial approach may increase risk of injury to veterinarians.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate changes in the cortical bone of the proximal phalanx of the fore-limbs of Thoroughbreds in response to training.

Animals—Twenty-seven 2-year-old Thoroughbreds (20 females, 2 males, and 5 geldings).

Procedures—Horses were principally in training for races in a straight line and in a clockwise direction. Lateromedial and dorsopalmar radiographic views of each metacarpophalangeal joint were obtained before the horses started training and 1 year after starting exercise and racing. Width of the dorsal, palmar, lateral, and medial cortex and the width and thickness of the medulla were measured. Ratios (rather than absolute values) were used to remove the effect of differences in bone size among horses.

Results—10 horses were lost from the study. Radiographs were obtained for 17 horses 1 year after starting training (9 horses raced in a clockwise direction, and 8 raced in clockwise and counterclockwise directions). There was no difference between the cortical bone in the right and left forelimbs at the start of the study. After training for 1 year, the palmar cortex in the right forelimb was significantly thicker than that in the left forelimb.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The strain patterns, biomechanics of rapid exercise, and type of training most probably determined differences in the adaptive responses of the proximal phalanx. The data reported here can be used in the evaluation of weight-bearing distribution along the proximal phalanx and evaluation of the relationship between exercise and bone remodelling of the proximal phalanx.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research