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Kinematics of the hind limb in trotting horses after induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and intra-articular administration of anesthetic

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 4 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 5 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rusk Rehabilitation Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

Objective—To identify hind limb and pelvic kinematic variables that change in trotting horses after induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after subsequent intra-articular administration of anesthetic.

Animals—8 clinically normal adult horses.

Procedure—Kinematic measurements were made before and after transient endotoxin-induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after intra-articular administration of anesthetic. Fourteen displacement and joint angle (metatarsophalangeal [fetlock] and tarsal joints) measurements were made on the right hind limb, sacrum, and the right and left tubera coxae. Kinematic measurements were compared by general linear models, using a repeated measures ANOVA. Post hoc multiple comparisons between treatments were evaluated with a Fisher least squared difference test at α = 0.05.

Results—After lameness induction, fetlock and tarsal joint extension during stance decreased, fetlock joint flexion and hoof height during swing increased, limb protraction decreased, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more asymmetric. After intra-articular administration of anesthetic, limb protraction returned to the degree seen before lameness, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more symmetric.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased length of hind limb protraction and symmetry of tubera coxae vertical excursion are sensitive indicators of improvement in tarsal joint lameness. When evaluating changes in tarsal joint lameness, evaluating the horse from the side (to assess limb protraction) is as important as evaluating from the rear (to assess pelvic symmetry). (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1031–1036)

Abstract

Objective—To identify hind limb and pelvic kinematic variables that change in trotting horses after induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after subsequent intra-articular administration of anesthetic.

Animals—8 clinically normal adult horses.

Procedure—Kinematic measurements were made before and after transient endotoxin-induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after intra-articular administration of anesthetic. Fourteen displacement and joint angle (metatarsophalangeal [fetlock] and tarsal joints) measurements were made on the right hind limb, sacrum, and the right and left tubera coxae. Kinematic measurements were compared by general linear models, using a repeated measures ANOVA. Post hoc multiple comparisons between treatments were evaluated with a Fisher least squared difference test at α = 0.05.

Results—After lameness induction, fetlock and tarsal joint extension during stance decreased, fetlock joint flexion and hoof height during swing increased, limb protraction decreased, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more asymmetric. After intra-articular administration of anesthetic, limb protraction returned to the degree seen before lameness, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more symmetric.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased length of hind limb protraction and symmetry of tubera coxae vertical excursion are sensitive indicators of improvement in tarsal joint lameness. When evaluating changes in tarsal joint lameness, evaluating the horse from the side (to assess limb protraction) is as important as evaluating from the rear (to assess pelvic symmetry). (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1031–1036)