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  • Author or Editor: Richard M. DeBowes x
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Abstract

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 tenoscopy.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—20 horses.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research