Objective—To determine history, physical and diagnostic
examination findings, medical treatment, and
outcome of horses with open injuries to the digital
flexor tendon sheath treated with the assistance of
Procedure—Medical records of 20 horses with open
injuries to the digital flexor tendon sheath were
reviewed. Signalment, history, physical and diagnostic
examination results, bacteriologic culture and susceptibility
testing results, surgical and medical treatments,
and follow-up examination results were determined.
Outcome was determined by use of telephone
interview or physical examination.
Results—All horses were treated with tenoscopicassisted
lavage and débridement. Eighteen horses
survived, and 2 were euthanatized during treatment.
All horses were either grade-4 or grade-5 lame before
treatment. Ten horses returned to previous use. Four
horses were considered mildly lame and in athletic
use. Three horses were considered mechanically
lame and are in use with reduced expectations. One
horse was lost to follow-up after being sold. One
horse was euthanatized for financial reasons and 1
because of complications from regional sepsis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tenoscopy
appears to be a useful modality in the treatment of
open injury to the digital flexor tendon sheath in horses.
Direct viewing, guided débridement, and targeted
large-volume lavage are advantages obtained with
intrathecal arthroscopy. Tenoscopy, when combined
with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory treatment,
appears to offer a good chance of survival for affected
horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1823–1827)