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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the effects of novel legwear designed to limit metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) extension and redirect loading forces from the flexor apparatus through analyses of 2-D kinematic and kinetic data.

ANIMALS

6 adult horses without musculoskeletal disease.

PROCEDURES

Horses were subjected to 4 treatments: control (no legwear), inactive legwear (unlimited legwear extension), and active legwear with mild (30°) and moderate (20°) legwear extension limitation. Two-dimensional kinematic data were collected for the right forelimb (FL) during walk and trot and from leading and trailing FLs during canter on a treadmill. Ground reaction force (GRF) data were collected from FLs during overground walk and trot. Peak MCPJ angle and angular velocity were calculated from kinematic data, and peak force and average loading rate were calculated from vertical GRF data during the stance phase of the gait. Interactions between gait and treatment were determined via ANOVA.

RESULTS

Interactions between gait and treatment for peak MCPJ angle were significant. Significant reductions in MCPJ angle were noted between the control treatment and legwear with moderate extension limitation for trot and canter (leading and trailing FL) and between inactive legwear and legwear with moderate extension limitation for trot and leading FL during canter. Interactions among peak MCPJ angular velocity, peak vertical GRF, and average loading rate of the vertical GRF showed nonsignificance.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Significant reductions in MCPJ extension without significant alterations to peak vertical GRF suggested the legwear's ability to redistribute internal forces. Findings suggested that the legwear may be beneficial for horses rehabilitating from flexor apparatus injuries.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the ability of novel legwear designed to limit extension of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) to redirect loading forces from the flexor apparatus during walk, trot, and canter on a treadmill and during unrestrained and restrained activity in a stall.

ANIMALS

6 adult horses without musculoskeletal disease.

PROCEDURES

Legwear-derived force data were recorded under 4 conditions: inactive state (unlimited legwear extension) and 3 active (restrictive) states (mild, 30° extension; moderate, 20° extension; or maximum, 10° extension). Associations between peak legwear loads and torques among legwear states and treadmill gaits and stall activities were assessed. The hair coat and skin of the forelimbs were examined for any legwear-induced adverse effects after testing.

RESULTS

During the treadmill exercises, moderate restriction of legwear extension resulted in significantly higher peak load and torque than mild restriction, and faster speeds (canter vs walk or trot and trot vs walk) yielded significantly higher peak load and torque. During in-stall activity, maximum restriction of legwear extension yielded significantly higher peak load and torque than moderate restriction. Unrestrained in-stall activity resulted in significantly higher peak load and torque than restrained activity. The legwear caused minimal adverse effects on the hair coat and skin of the forelimbs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggested that the legwear variably reduced peak loads on the flexor apparatus. Extension of the MCPJ may be incrementally adjusted through the legwear such that return to activity may be controlled, and controlled return to activity is crucial for rehabilitating flexor apparatus injuries.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research