Treatment and prevention

Tenotomy and desmotomy

Tenotomy, the division of the deep digital flexor tendon and desmotomy, the cutting of the check ligament, are procedures that aim to eliminate the rotation of the coffin bone. The purpose of this type of surgery is to remove the tensile force of the deep digital flexor tendon on the coffin bone.

This surgical intervention is often undertaken despite the fact this tensile force is not the problem. The rotation of the coffin bone is caused by the inability of the lamellae, along with the extensor tendon, to offer counter force. In other words, it is the detachment of the hoof wall rather than the rotation of the coffin bone that is the problem.

Usually this method is applied in a very late stage of laminitis, and mostly just to prolong the life of the horse, a goal that is hardly ever attained by it.

To counteract the changed forces on the hoof, therapeutic shoeing is often applied, combined with aggressive trimming to force the coffin bone parallel to the ground. This can have serious drawbacks.

Swelling, pain, inflammation, osteomyelitis, connective tissue tumours, osteoarthritis, joint deformities and permanent tendon contraction may occur as complications. Long and intensive aftercare is required.

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