Unusual Tendon Injuries in Sport Horses

Such tendon injuries include those that affect commonly injured tendons at unusual sites, uncommonly hurt tendons, or where the pathology itself is unusual.
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Unusual Tendon Injuries in Sport Horses
Injuries to the weight-bearing front digital flexor tendons are some of the most common tendon issues in athletic horses. As such, we talk about these frequently while other, less-common tendon injuries get less press. | Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse

Injuries to the weight-bearing front digital flexor tendons are some of the most common tendon issues in athletic horses. As such, we talk about these frequently while other, less-common tendon injuries get less press. That doesn’t mean they’re any less important, however.

Roger Smith, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FHEA, LAAssocECVDI, Dipl. ECVS, FRCVS, from the Royal Veterinary College, in London, U.K., shed some light on out-of-the-ordinary injuries during the 2018 British Equine Veterinary Association Congress, held Sept. 12-15, in Birmingham. First, he explained what he classifies as “unusual.”

The digital flexor tendons (DFT) that run down the back of the horse’s forelimbs and attach at the sesamoid bones are particularly vulnerable to injury because of their high load-bearing and their lack of protection by other tissues, he explained

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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