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Equine Practice
Ultrasonography of the palmar metacarpus and pastern in the horse
  1. Andrew McDiarmid

    Andrew McDiarmid qualified from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 1988. He worked in a large equine hospital in Liphook, Hampshire, for two years before returning to the Dick in 1990 as the International League for the Protection of Horses resident in equine orthopaedics. In 1994 he was appointed lecturer in large animal surgery. He holds the certificate in equine surgery (orthopaedics) and has a special interest in the integration of ultrasonography with radiology in equine orthopaedics.


INJURIES to the tendons and ligaments of the palmar metacarpus are common and of great economic importance to the equine industry. Prior to the development of diagnostic ultrasonography, the diagnosis of tendon injuries was based primarily on palpation. Ultrasonography has provided the equine clinician with a non-invasive technique for assessing the type and extent of tendon damage and monitoring the progress of healing. This article describes the soft tissue anatomy of the palmar metacarpus and pastern and the ultrasonographic examination of injuries to the tendinous structures of these areas.

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