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A retrospective study of 25 horses with chronic navicular pain was conducted to evaluate treatment with corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid and amikacin injected into the navicular bursa.
The average duration of lameness prior to treatment was 9 months. Fifty-six percent of the horses had mismatched front feet, 84 percent showed pain with hoof testers applied over the frog, 81 percent had moderate or severe radiographic changes and all responded to diagnostic nerve blocks at the heels.
Eighty percent of the horses responded to the treatment and returned to activities in 3 to 6 months. Fifty-six percent were being used as intended after 1 to 3 years but required ongoing injections or anti-inflammatory treatment. Two horses that received multiple injections into the navicular bursa ruptured the deep digital flexor tendon at the level of the pastern.
The study could not identify which horses will benefit from treatment of the navicular bursa and response will likely depend on severity of disease, use, conformation and owner compliance.
—Dabareiner RM, Carter GK, Honnas CM. Injection Of Corticosteroids, Hyaluronate And Amikacin Into The Navicular Bursa In Horses With Signs Of Navicular Area Pain Unresponsive To Other Treatments: 25 cases (1999-2002). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2003;223:1469-1474.
This study scored radiographic changes of the navicular and coffin bones and hock and eyed…