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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings of Desmopathy of the Collateral Ligaments of the Equine Distal Interphalangeal Joint

Santiago D. Gutierrez-Nibeyro N.a.W.I., Natasha M. Werpy, Laurie Tyrrell, Kent A. Allen, Kenneth E. Sullins, Richard D. Mitchell,

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2009. 50(1): p.21-31.

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. Treatment consisted of stall rest followed by a rehabilitation period. Additional treatments included shoeing, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, application of a half limb or foot cast, and medication of the distal interphalangeal joint. Twelve (60%) horses returned to their previous level of exercise and maintained their previous level, whereas eight horses had a poor outcome. Low-field MR imaging in the standing patient can be used to detect collateral ligament desmopathy of the distal interphalangeal joint without a need for general anesthesia.