Stringhalt secondary to trauma to the dorsoproximal region of the metatarsus in horses: 10 cases (1986–1991)

Mark R. Crabill From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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Clifford M. Honnas From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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D. Scott Taylor From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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James Schumacher From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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Jeffrey P. Watkins From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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Jack R. Snyder From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 (Crabill, Honnas, Schumacher, Watkins), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Taylor, Snyder).

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Summary

A review of medical records was used to identify 10 horses in which stringhalt developed subsequent to trauma to the dorsal metatarsus. Six horses developed stringhalt within 3 months after injury, 3 horses developed stringhalt > 3 months after injury, and time from injury to stringhalt was unknown for 1 horse. Horses were treated with exercise, including daily hand-walking with pasture turnout, followed by lunging; or surgically, using lateral digital extensor myotenectomy. Of the horses treated with exercise, 1 had resolution of stringhalt, 2 improved but had residual stringhalt, and 1 had no change. Two of the horses having lateral digital extensor myotenectomy had resolution of stringhalt. Two of the remaining 3 horses treated surgically had varying degrees of improvement, and in 1 horse there was no change. Stringhalt is a potential complication following trauma to the dorsal metatarsal region. Potential causes include tendon adhesions enhancing tarsocrural joint flexion or abnormalities in the myotatic reflex caused by tendon injury that result in abnormal flexion of the tarsocrural joint.

Summary

A review of medical records was used to identify 10 horses in which stringhalt developed subsequent to trauma to the dorsal metatarsus. Six horses developed stringhalt within 3 months after injury, 3 horses developed stringhalt > 3 months after injury, and time from injury to stringhalt was unknown for 1 horse. Horses were treated with exercise, including daily hand-walking with pasture turnout, followed by lunging; or surgically, using lateral digital extensor myotenectomy. Of the horses treated with exercise, 1 had resolution of stringhalt, 2 improved but had residual stringhalt, and 1 had no change. Two of the horses having lateral digital extensor myotenectomy had resolution of stringhalt. Two of the remaining 3 horses treated surgically had varying degrees of improvement, and in 1 horse there was no change. Stringhalt is a potential complication following trauma to the dorsal metatarsal region. Potential causes include tendon adhesions enhancing tarsocrural joint flexion or abnormalities in the myotatic reflex caused by tendon injury that result in abnormal flexion of the tarsocrural joint.

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