Research Journal: May/June 2017

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Treating Extensor Process Fractures

While many fragments off the extensor process of the coffin bone are not associated with lameness, large fragments that involve the articular surface can cause problems and require treatment. A retrospective study evaluated the long-term outcome of 18 Friesian horses that received arthroscopic surgery to remove large extensor process fragments. In this context large fragments were defined as those affecting more than 25% of the joint surface. In addition to postoperative X-rays and examination, owners were interviewed by phone 6 to 96 months following surgery.

A successful outcome was obtained in 14 of the 17 horses (82%) available for follow-up. About 80% of the horses either returned to their previous level of training or entered training and achieved their intended use. Three horses remained lame including one aged horses and two younger horses that had lameness attributed to ringbone. Typical recovery time was 10 months, and three horses developed joint complications following surgery that resolved with treatment. Remodeling of subchondral bone including new bone formation at the site of the fragment was often apparent on post-operative X-rays, but not associated with problems. The authors concluded arthroscopic removal is a good treatment option and provides good outcomes for horses with large extensor process fragments.

— Compagnie et al. Vet Surg 2016;45:536-541

Health Problems And Transportation

Researchers in Australia conducted two studies of health problems related to transportation of horses. One study surveyed 797 amateur and professional equestrians moving horses from 8 to 24 hours (typical-haul), and the…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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