Digital flexor tendon lacerations in horses: 50 cases (1975-1990)

D. Scott Taylor From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Taylor, Honnas) and the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Pascoe, Meagher), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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John R. Pascoe From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Taylor, Honnas) and the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Pascoe, Meagher), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Dennis M. Meagher From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Taylor, Honnas) and the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Pascoe, Meagher), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Clifford M. Honnas From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Taylor, Honnas) and the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences (Pascoe, Meagher), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Summary

The medical records of 50 horses examined because of lacerations of the tendon of the superficial or deep digital flexor muscle were reviewed to determine whether any injury or treatment factors could be associated with outcome. Median age of horses treated was 4.5 years (range, 1.5 years to 15 years), and the median follow-up time was 5 years (range, 1.5 to 16 years) after injury. Horses were considered to have survived if they were alive more than 1 year after injury. Twelve of 16 horses that had 1 or the other tendon transected survived; 13 of 16 horses that had both tendons transected survived; and 14 of 18 horses that had partial tendon disruptions of 1 or both tendons survived. Of the 39 surviving horses, 27 horses returned to their original use, and 32 horses were sound for riding. Nine horses with 1 or both tendons transected were being used for athletic activities. Lacerated tendons were sutured in 16 horses, and 15 of these survived. Tendons were not sutured in 34 horses, and 24 of these survived. We were not able to detect any association between outcome and tendon sheath involvement or between outcome and limb involvement (forelimb vs hind limb).

Summary

The medical records of 50 horses examined because of lacerations of the tendon of the superficial or deep digital flexor muscle were reviewed to determine whether any injury or treatment factors could be associated with outcome. Median age of horses treated was 4.5 years (range, 1.5 years to 15 years), and the median follow-up time was 5 years (range, 1.5 to 16 years) after injury. Horses were considered to have survived if they were alive more than 1 year after injury. Twelve of 16 horses that had 1 or the other tendon transected survived; 13 of 16 horses that had both tendons transected survived; and 14 of 18 horses that had partial tendon disruptions of 1 or both tendons survived. Of the 39 surviving horses, 27 horses returned to their original use, and 32 horses were sound for riding. Nine horses with 1 or both tendons transected were being used for athletic activities. Lacerated tendons were sutured in 16 horses, and 15 of these survived. Tendons were not sutured in 34 horses, and 24 of these survived. We were not able to detect any association between outcome and tendon sheath involvement or between outcome and limb involvement (forelimb vs hind limb).

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