Objectively Evaluating SI Injuries in Horses
Sacroiliac (SI, where the pelvis’ sacrum and ilium unite) pain can cause lameness and poor performance in horses. Veterinarians find SI injuries challenging to diagnose and evaluate, however, due to the region’s anatomy and the joint’s many neighboring structures.
So during the 2018 British Equine Veterinary Association Congress, held Sept. 12-15, in Birmingham, U.K., Carolin Gerdes, VetMed, MRCVS, was asked to address the question: How objective can we be when evaluating horses for SI injury? Gerdes is the head of the orthopedics department at Tierklinik Hochmoor, in Germany.
Sacroiliac injuries can be either acute—usually due to trauma—or, more commonly, chronic due to repetitive strain and degenerative changes associated with osteoarthritis. To diagnose these, veterinarians rely on a combination of clinical examination, diagnostic analgesia (nerve blocks), and imaging. Currently, however, we don’t have a repeatable and measurable way to objectively evaluate SI injuries, said Gerdes. She reviewed current diagnostic options to determine what we do
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