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)
Objective—To evaluate clinical effects of immobilization
followed by remobilization and exercise on the
metacarpophalangeal joint (MPJ) in horses.
Animals—5 healthy horses.
Procedure—After lameness, radiographic, and force
plate examinations to determine musculoskeletal
health, 1 forelimb of each horse was immobilized in a
fiberglass cast for 7 weeks, followed by cast removal
and increasing amounts of exercise, beginning with
hand-walking and ending with treadmill exercise.
Lameness examination, arthrocentesis of both MPJ,
single-emulsion radiographic examination, nuclear
scintigraphic examination, ground-reaction force-plate
analysis, and computed tomographic examination
were done at various times during the study.
Results—All horses were lame in the immobilized
MPJ after cast removal; lameness improved slightly
with exercise. Force plate analysis revealed a significant
difference in peak forces between immobilized
and contralateral limbs 2 weeks after cast removal.
Range of motion of the immobilized MPJ was significantly
decreased, and joint circumference was significantly
increased, compared with baseline values,
during the exercise period. Osteopenia was subjectively
detected in the immobilized limbs. Significant
increase in the uptake of radionucleotide within
bones of the immobilized MPJ after cast removal and
at the end of the study were detected. Loss of mineral
opacity, increased vascular channels in the subchondral
bone, and thickening within the soft tissues
of the immobilized MPJ were detected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate
that 8 weeks of enforced exercise after 7 weeks
of joint immobilization did not restore joint function or
values for various joint measurements determined
prior to immobilization. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:282–288)