Injuries to the back of the foot

Injuries to the back of the foot

These injuries and usually as a result of wire or metal. The horse gets one forelimb stuck through a fence or partition and pulls back in an attempt to free the limb, the wire/metal then cuts deep into the soft tissues across or just above the bulbs of the heel. Such injuries often result in some laceration to the deep digital flexor tendon. The wounds are usually quite contaminated with surrounding bruised and compromised tissue. Most of these injuries respond remarkably well to a foot cast. This is usually applied a couple of days after the initial injury and the cast is kept on for a minimum of three weeks depending on wound severity.

The first three images show a typical case. The first picture shows the wound after it has been cleaned and debrided as much as possible, the second shows the foot in its cast and the third the appearance of the wound four weeks later.

We have an ongoing case at present with such an injury but rather more severe than usual. The wound went so deep that it completely cut through a section of the deep digital flexor tendon and into the navicular bursa. This bursa became septic as did the adjacent coffin joint. The fourth image (radiograph) is of this foot. Contrast material (appears dense and white) has been injected into the navicular bursa from the side of the foot and can be seen to exit through the back. This shows that there is communication between the navicular bursa and the outside of the foot. The prognosis for this case is extremely guarded but we are persevering at present as the horse is walking sound having been in its present cast for two weeks.

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