A Novel Tool for Equine Tendon Injury Rehab

Learn how ultrasound tissue characterization can help veterinarians guide horses’ return from injury.
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A Novel Tool for Equine Tendon Injury Rehab
With ultrasound and tissue characterization, an ultrasound probe mounted to a tracking device records up to 600 images. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Hans van Schie

Overstrain injuries to the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT), which runs down the back of the cannon bone, are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries veterinarians diagnose in equine athletes. The many treatment options have three things in common: time out of training, expense, and no guarantee of success.

It makes sense, then, that injury prevention is always the goal; failing that, we need a method to optimally guide rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, current imaging approaches limit how accurately veterinarians can monitor the tendon. So, although we can use conventional ultrasound to confirm the presence of a core lesion, we are often unable to fully evaluate tendon structure, follow healing, or provide effective rehabilitation guidelines post-injury

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Written by:

Sarah Plevin, BVMS, MRCVS, CVA, Dipl. ABVP, ACVSMR, is a practitioner at Florida Equine Veterinary Associates, in Ocala. Her practice interests include performance lameness and diagnostic imaging.

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