REASSURING FINDINGS ABOUT JOINT INJECTIONS
Injecting corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory medications directly into equine joints can be highly effective in treating arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. But there’s always a worry that an intervention into the joint space will cause synovial sepsis, an infection that can lead to devastating damage to cartilage and other crucial joint structures. Now a study from England suggests that the risk of this complication is extremely low.
For the study, researchers at Rossdales Equine Hospital in Newmarket reviewed the records of 9,456 injections in mainly racehorses who received intrasynovial medications over a five-year period. All of the injections were performed by veterinarians in the field, as opposed to a hospital setting.
When the injection records were cross-referenced with laboratory reports and hospital admission records, the researchers found that only four of the horses (.04 percent) developed post-injection synovial sepsis. The cases of infection were associated with a variety of medications---one horse had been given antibiotics concurrently---and all the infections were treated successfully. The researchers report that all of the affected horses returned to racing.
Reference: “Synovial sepsis is rare following intrasynovial medication in equine ambulatory practice,” Equine Veterinary Journal, December 2018
LOW RISK: A retrospective study of horses who received joint injections showed that subsequent joint infections were very rare.