The Challenges of Administering Joint Injections
Kathryn Seabaugh, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, and colleagues recently conducted a study on practitioners’ accuracy when injecting lower hock joints, and she presented the results at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas. Seabaugh is an assistant professor of equine lameness and sports medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, in Athens.
“Intra-articular diagnostic anesthesia and/or therapeutic injection are relied upon to help diagnose and/or treat osteoarthritis in the lower hock joints,” Seabaugh said. But the medication can only be effective if veterinarians are accurate, and the distal hock joints can be a very challenging area to inject, especially if the horse already has osteoarthritis present, she added.
To determine their accuracy, Seabaugh and colleagues evaluated a group of six equine surgeons and surgery residents. Each veterinarian injected two distal intertarsal (DIT) joints and two tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints—both located in the lower hock—with a contrast medium. Then, the team took radiographs to determine where the contrast medium was located within the desired
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