Ultrasonographic evaluation of the metacarpus (MC), metatarsus (MT), and pastern has been used to diagnose soft tissue injuries of these regions for the past two decades. Advancements in technology continue to improve user friendliness as well as our ability to diagnose tendon and ligament injuries. Relevance of these advances to the equine practitioner will be presented. Techniques to evaluate all major anatomic structures will be discussed, including the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, inferior check ligament, suspensory ligament, straight and oblique distal sesamoidean ligaments, and collateral and abaxial and axial palmar/plantar ligaments of the pastern joint. Evaluation of associated synovial structures will be presented, including the carpal sheath, tarsal sheath, and digital sheath. An emphasis will be placed on measuring cross-sectional areas as a means to differentiate injured from noninjured structures and how to utilize those measurements to evaluate healing. Common history, physical examination findings, ultrasonographic features, healing, and prognosis for soft tissue injuries of MC, MT, and pastern will be reviewed. Practice tips to improve sonographic technique and image acquisition will also be presented.
- Deep digital flexor tendonitis
- Digital sheath tenosynovitis
- Distal sesamoidean desmitis
- Inferior check desmitis
- Superficial digital flexor tendonitis
- Suspensory desmitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas