NEW WAY TO GAUGE SEVERITY OF JOINT INJURIES
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