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Laceration of the digital flexor tendons is fairly common and prognosis for return to athletic function is variable. Large defects have been repaired using surgical implants that help align the tendon stumps and serve as scaffolds for the formation of scar tissue.
A bioabsorbable implant made of poly-L-lactic acid has been useful for repairing severed Achilles’ tendons in people, and a recent study in the United Kingdom evaluated this material for repairing severed digital flexor tendons in the hindlimbs of four horses.
After the surgical repair, the affected lower limbs were immobilized in casts for 3 to 4 months. Two of the horses returned to work after one year, while the other two animals remained lame.
Although promising, further work is needed to determine if these implants are superior to other implants, or tendon grafting or casting alone.
—Eliashar E, Schramme MC, Schumacher J, Ikada Y., Smith RKW. Use Of A Bioabsorbable Implant For The Repair Of Severed Digital Flexor Tendons In Four Horses. Veterinary Record, 2001; 148: 506-509.
Several studies have investigated the expression and release of substances in the digital laminae that are likely involved in the vascular changes associated with laminitis, but the variety of pathologic changes present in the digit at the onset of laminitis remains difficult to explain.
Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1b) is an inflammatory cytokine released by a variety of…