Sonography is commonly used for diagnosis of desmopathy of the proximal part of the suspensory ligament in horses. However, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has been stated to be superior for detecting disease and localizing lesions. In this retrospective study of 39 horses or 46 hind limbs with lameness due to proximal plantar metatarsal pain, the clinical and diagnostic findings are discussed and sonography and MR imaging compared for examination of the proximal part of the suspensory ligament.
Distal forelimb specimens of eight skeletally mature horses were imaged using proton density turbo spin echo, T1-weighted spoiled gradient echo, T2*-weighted gradient echo, short tau inversion recovery and T2-weighted fast spin echo sequences with the limb parallel to the main magnetic field, and with angulation of the limb relative to the main magnetic field. The magic angle effect can be identified in the collateral ligaments of the distal interphalangeal joint when imaged in a high-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system with a horizontally oriented main magnetic field.
Reasons for performing study: There are currently few long-term follow-up data relating to recovery from injury of a collateral ligament (CL) of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint and limited information about the effect of associated osseous injury on prognosis.
Objectives: To describe long-term follow-up results for horses with CL injury, with and without associated osseous injury; and to determine the effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ECSWT) or radial pressure wave therapy (RPWT) on outcome.
Reasons for performing study: Osseous abnormalities associated with collateral ligament (CL) injury of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint have been documented using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) but there is currently limited information about the frequency of osseous pathology associated with CL injury.
Recently Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD) has been proposed to be a disease characterized by systemic deposition of proteoglycan (PG) in connective tissues. To investigate this hypothesis, 6 clinically affected Peruvian Paso horses were compared to 2 unaffected quarterhorses and one unaffected standardbred. Histological sections of limb ligaments and tendons, nuchal ligaments, aortas, hearts, eyes, visceral organs and brains from both groups were stained with H&E as well as special stains for PG.
Neurectomy of the deep branch of the right lateral plantar nerve was performed on a single healthy mature horse. Six weeks after surgery, the horse was subjected to euthanasia and both hind suspensory ligaments harvested. The cross sectional area of the muscular part of the proximal part of the suspensory ligament was measured and assessed for morphological abnormalities in a blinded fashion. There was a clear difference in cross sectional area of the muscular part between treated and control ligament and there was profound neurogenic atrophy of the muscular fibres in the treated ligament.
Reasons for performing study: Hyperintense signal is sometimes observed in ligaments and tendons of the equine foot on standing magnetic resonance examination without associated changes in size and shape. In such cases, the presence of a true lesion or an artifact should be considered. A change in position of a ligament or tendon relative to the magnetic field can induce increased signal intensity due to the magic angle effect.
Case Description—3 horses with lameness localized to the proximal aspect of the metacarpus or metatarsus.
A controlled study was designed in order to evaluate the effects of medial patellar desmotomy (MPD), combined with exercise restriction, on clinically and radiographically normal femoropatellar joints, and to identify the patellar instability by radiographic examination. MPD was performed on the right hind limb and the horses were rested for 120 days. Both hind limbs were radiographed before surgery and at 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 days after MPD, obtaining lateromedial, flexed lateromedial, caudocranial and cranioproximal-craniodistal (skyline) views.
We report the use of a low-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging system for the detection of desmopathy of the collateral ligament of the distal interphalangeal joint and the long-term outcome. Twenty horses were studied and their medical records and MR images were reviewed retrospectively. Long-term follow-up information was obtained by telephonic questionnaires of owners, trainers, or referring veterinarians. Desmopathy of the medial collateral ligament (80%) and enthesopathy of the affected collateral ligament (80%) were common MR imaging features.