Article Text

Equine Practice
Tendon injury in the horse: current theories and therapies
  1. Roger Smith

    Roger Smith is a senior lecturer in equine surgery at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). He is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and an RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery. Besides running an orthopaedic referral service at the RVC, he has a special interest in musculoskeletal ultrasonography and directs research into equine tendon injuries.

  2. Michael Schramme

    Michael Schramme is assistant professor in large animal surgery at Cornell University in New York. He was formerly a lecturer in equine surgery at the RVC and subsequently worked at the Animal Health Trust. He holds a PhD in equine rheumatology, the RCVS certificate in equine orthopaedics and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.


TENDON injuries can arise by either intrinsic (strain or displacement) or extrinsic (bruise, penetration or laceration) mechanisms, and appear to be widespread in the horse. The most frequently observed injury is the strain injury which predominantly affects the palmar soft tissue structures which support the metacarpophalangeal joint. This article discusses the rational treatment of tendonitis based on current knowledge of pathophysiological events in the injured tendon. Given that injured tendons heal by repair rather than regeneration, prevention must be the ultimate goal and, to this end, four strategies for the prevention of tendonitis are proposed.

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