NEW WAY TO GAUGE SEVER­ITY OF JOINT IN­JURIES

EQUUS - - Medicalfro­nt -

A spe­cial form of ra­di­og­ra­phy can help vet­eri­nar­i­ans de­ter­mine whether a horse’s cru­cial syn­ovial struc­tures, such as joints, have been com­pro­mised dur­ing a trau­matic in­jury.

Syn­ovial fluid, the vis­cous liq­uid found in joint spa­ces, ten­don sheaths and bur­sae, acts as a lu­bri­cant and cush­ion, while pro­vid­ing nutrition for ar­tic­u­lar car­ti­lage in joints. In the wake of a trau­matic in­jury that breaches syn­ovial struc­tures, bac­te­rial con­tam­i­na­tion and po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing in­fec­tions can oc­cur. De­ter­min­ing if a wound has syn­ovial in­volve­ment and needs to be treated with emer­gency surgery is there­fore an im­por­tant part of the ini­tial vet­eri­nary ex­am­i­na­tion and is ide­ally done by ob­tain­ing a small sam­ple of syn­ovial fluid and an­a­lyz­ing it for the dif­fer­ent cell types and test­ing it for the pres­ence of bac­te­ria, a process called cy­tol­ogy.

In a re­cent study, re­searchers re­viewed the case records of 50 horses ad­mit­ted to RVC Equine at the Royal Vet­eri­nary Col­lege in Hert­ford­shire for treat­ment of wounds with pos­si­ble

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