Septic Arthritis of the Distal Interphalangeal Joint in 12 Horses

C. M. Honnas, R. D. Welch, T. S. Ford, J. R. Vacek, J. P. Watkins

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19 Scopus citations


The medical records of 12 horses with septic arthritis of a distal interphalangeal joint were reviewed to determine clinical features and response to treatment. Sepsis was caused by trauma or an injection that resulted in an open or contaminated distal interphalangeal joint. All horses were severely lame. Treatment included broad‐spectrum parenterally administered antimicrobial drugs (ten horses), percutaneous through‐and‐through joint lavage (eight horses), indwelling drains (three horses), immobilization of the limb in a cast (three horses), intraarticular injection of sodium hyaluronate (one horse), intraarticular injection of antimicrobial drugs (five horses), curettage of the distal phalanx (one horse), and cancellous bone grafting to promote fusion (one horse). Five horses were euthanatized. Ankylosis of the affected joint developed in five horses, four of which are pasture sound. Two horses treated medically are sound although one underwent subsequent palmar digital neurectomy for treatment of navicular syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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