In veterinary medicine existing reports indicate that Carpal Collateral Ligament Desmitis in horses is a fairly rare injury that leads to a poor prognosis for return to full athletic function. It has been discussed that in some cases this could be due to slow identification of the location of the injury, resulting in a delayed diagnosis.
Ligament desmitis refers to inflammation of the ligament.
Medial and lateral carpal collateral ligaments originate in the radius and insert on the MC11, their function is to stabilise the carpal joints.
The medial and lateral ligaments help hold together the carpal bones, resisting displacement especially in extension, and helping dissipate forces acting axially in the forelimb abaxially through the carpal bones.
Rupture or sprain of the medial or lateral collateral ligaments is usually the result of an acute traumatic episode in which the distal limb is forced medially or laterally, thereby stressing the ligaments and causing joint instability.
Palmer view of distal forelimb shows acute inflammation associated with bilateral collateral carpal ligament injury.
The causes of Intercarpal ligament (MPICL) trauma can be overuse, overloading of the joint and instability from lateral and medial injury. Also, normal degeneration in the dorsal aspect of the medial palmar intercarpal ligament will see some tearing occurs in most cases.Signs of injury would include forelimb lameness would be unilateral or may be bilateral.
Vasodilation is an important aspect of inflammation caused by the injury. Vasodilation increases blood flow to the injured area which also causes increased permeability of the blood vessels (leakiness of the blood vessel wall) Histamine plays an important role in vasodilation. Inflammation is the bodies defence against harmful stimuli and initiates repair in the acute stages.
Early detection of injury in the carpus, like any injury, is most helpful to rule out other anatomical regions, allowing for swift and early detection and identification.
Monitoring these conditions with thermography allows the vet clinician to observe the repair process which could take from 6 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the case.
All scans, in this case, are overviewed by the treating veterinarian.