Mitch Taylor

Deep Digital Flexor Tendon is Part of a Complex System

So DDFT injuries often involve or influence other lower-limb structures


Mitch Taylor, owner of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Mt. Eden, Ky., says problems with the deep digital flexor tendon usually involve more than just that structure.

One of the most important things for a farrier to remember when he’s presented with a deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) problem is that there’s almost certainly something more than just that tendon involved.

That was a big part of the message delivered by Mitch Taylor, owner and instructor at the Kentucky Horseshoeing School of Mount Eden, Ky., during a presentation at the 2008 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“When we say we’ve pulled a deep digital flexor tendon, it’s not as simple as saying that we’ve just strained some tendon fibers,” said Taylor. “I think a lot of the deep flexor problems we see are actually in the foot. A lot of them are a result of chronic imbalance or improper hoof care. There are a lot of areas at insertion points where things can go wrong. It’s difficult to delineate and generalize lameness as a deep digital flexor tendon problem when it could be a combination of tendonitis, bursitis and cartilage. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a highly complex system and one of the things we lose in a system like that is tolerance for error.”

One Part Of A System

Taylor pointed out that the DDFT is just a part of a very complex system of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons that operate in a horse’s lower…

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Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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