To compare the speed of onset and analgesic effect of mepivacaine deposited within or immediately outside the neurovascular bundle at the base of the proximal sesamoid bones in horses.
6 horses with naturally occurring forefoot-related lameness.
In a crossover study design, horses were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 2 treatments first, with the second treatment administered 3 to 7 days later. Trotting gait was analyzed with an inertial sensor–based motion analysis system immediately before treatment to determine degree of lameness. Afterward, ultrasound guidance was used to inject 2% mepivacaine hydrochloride around the palmar digital nerves of the affected forelimb at the level of the base of the proximal sesamoid bones either within the subcircumneural space or outside the circumneural sheath. After injection, gait was reevaluated at 5-minute intervals for 45 minutes.
Mepivacaine deposition outside the circumneural sheath did not resolve lameness in any horse; for 3 horses, the mean time to 70% reduction of initial vertical head movement was 13.3 minutes, and the remaining 3 horses had no such reduction at any point. Mepivacaine deposition within the subcircumneural space resulted in a mean time to 70% reduction of initial vertical head movement of 6.7 minutes and mean time to resolution of lameness of 21.7 minutes.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that when peripheral nerves of horses lie within a sheath, local anesthetic solution should be deposited within the sheath for an effective nerve block. If local anesthetic solution is deposited outside the sheath, the nerve block may yield erroneous results.