Equine tendons: reducing the risk of injury
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Tendon injuries are commonplace in the equine athlete and contribute to days lost from competition and training, and wastage of horses. Equestrian sport, in particular horseracing, is popular with the general public and the advent of television coverage and the internet enables accidents to be more widely broadcast. This can have a significant negative impact on public perception of equine welfare and negatively affect participation and financial input to the industry. Riders and trainers would benefit from an increased understanding of the risk factors and pathology of tendon injuries to enable prophylactic strategies to be employed to reduce tendon injury occurrence, promote equine health and welfare and optimize performance and career longevity in the equine athlete. This review provides an introduction to the role of tendons in the equine distal limb specifically the superficial digital flexor tendon as this has the highest incidence rate of injury recorded. Intrinsic and extrinsic risks are introduced and related to loading and subsequent pathology to enable preventative strategies to be proposed. This should enable the veterinary support team to enhance knowledge of tendon injury and prevention in clients.
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