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Diagnostic orthopaedics

This branch is an important part of the clinic's work. Orthopaedic cases are referred, which, according to their characteristics, can be broken down as follows:

* Particularly serious cases (fractures, luxations, consequences of falls or significant traumas, serious tendon or ligament injuries, articular infections)

* Acute or chronic lameness

* Slight or sub-clinical lameness, sometimes characterised only by a drop in performance

* In-depth diagnosis of cases already treated by colleagues.

diaort01In the first case, the patient often requires an emergency intervention, because in cases of fractures or articular sepsis, the time between onset of the problem and the treatment itself can dramatically change the result. The purely diagnostic part (usually followed immediately by the medical or surgical procedure) generally includes the radiographic and ultrasonographic esamination and, possibly, some laboratory tests, such as an synovial fluid analysis. Race horses are most affected by these pathologies (especially as regards fractures of the proximal phalanx, of the metacarpus/metatarsus, and of the carpal bones), but cases of horses used for amateur activities or kept on pasture are by no means rare.
Cases of acute or chronic lameness are very frequent and call for careful clinical examination (inspection, palpation, examination of the horse in motion), often followed by diagnostic anaesthetic blocks and, finally, by instrumental examinations: radiography, ultrasonography and scintigraphy. Every type of horse is characterised by more frequent clinical disorders.

Here are a some examples: cases of lameness located in the palmar aspect of show jumpers’ ore eventers’ feet, in the carpus of Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and young Standardbreds, and those in the metatarsal-phalangeal joint of the Standardbred.
The third group includes disorders that are often not very clear, but which affect the horse's performance. In these cases, in the absence of a certain diagnosis, some subjects undergo complete radiographic or scintigraphic screening.
The in-depth diagnostics requested by colleagues often refer to instrumental examinations. Very often, in-field work has made it possible to precisely locate the source of the problem. However this requires sophisticated diagnostics with the aid of images. In this sense, the availability of ecography, high powered radiology, scintigraphy and diagnostic arthroscopy complete the work already done.