SARAH N. SAMPSON RKS, RUSSELL L. TUCKER, PATRICK R. GAVIN, CHAD J. ZUBROD, CHARLES P. HO,.
Injury to the oblique and straight distal sesamoidean ligaments is becoming recognized as a more common cause of lameness in horses than was previously thought. The purpose of this study was to review the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings of 27 horses affected with desmitis of the oblique and/or straight distal sesamoidean ligament and determine long-term prognosis for horses with this diagnosis. Imaging was performed with horses in right lateral recumbency in a high-field 1†T magnet. All horses had lameness localized to the digit or metacarpophalangeal/metatarsophalangeal joint region with diagnostic local anesthetic blocks. Ten horses had forelimb lameness and 17 horses had hind limb lameness. MR imaging revealed abnormalities in the oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments in 18 horses, in the straight distal sesamoidean ligament in three horses, and in both the oblique and straight distal sesamoidean ligament in six horses. Treatment consisted of a 6-month rest and rehabilitation program in all horses. The digital flexor tendon sheath was injected with methylprednisolone acetate and hyaluronic acid in 22 horses to decrease inflammation in the injured ligaments before starting the rest and rehabilitation program. Two horses had ligament splitting performed, one in the oblique distal sesamoidean ligament and one in the straight distal sesamoidean ligament. MR imaging is an effective method for diagnosing injury to the oblique and straight distal sesamoidean ligaments in horses. Treatment, primarily a 6-month rest and rehabilitation program, allowed 76% of the horses to successfully resume performance.