Objective—To determine clinical, radiographic, and scintigraphic abnormalities in and treatment and outcome of horses with trauma-induced osteomyelitis of the proximal aspect of the radius.
Procedure—Data collected from the medical records included signalment; history; horse use; degree of lameness; radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic findings; treatment; and outcome.
Results—Duration of lameness prior to referral ranged from 14 to 60 days. Mean severity of lameness was grade 3 of 5, and all horses had a single limb affected. All horses had signs of pain during elbow joint manipulation and digital palpation over the lateral aspect of the proximal end of the radius. Radiographic lesions consisted of periosteal proliferation, osteolysis, and subchondral bone lysis. Scintigraphy in 3 horses revealed intense pharmaceutical uptake diffusely involving the proximal end of the radius. Two horses had sepsis of the elbow joint. All horses were treated with antimicrobials long-term; 1 horse was also treated by local perfusion of the radial medullary cavity through an indwelling cannulated screw. At follow-up, all horses had returned to their previous function.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that osteomyelitis of the proximal end of the radius can result from a traumatic injury to the antebrachium. Because lesions may be an extension of septic arthritis, a thorough examination of the wound area and elbow joint is recommended. Prolonged systemic antimicrobial treatment can result in a successful outcome. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:486–491)