Didatic approach of ultrasonographic examination for evaluation of the carpal joint in horses

ABSTRACT: The carpus is a complex articulation, which is often involved in injuries in equine athletes. The objective of this study was to suggest a didactic approach for ultrasonography training for the examination of the carpal joint in horses. Ultrasonograhy examination was performed in a healthy 14-year-old horse. The images were compared with those of a dissected anatomic specimen of the carpal region of a senior horse and with those reported in the literature. Identifiable structures were as follows: (dorsal) tendon of the muscle extensor carpi radialis, tendon of the muscle extensor carpi obliquus, tendon of the muscle commom digital extensor, dorsal synovial outpouchings, joint capsule and fat cushion, (lateral) tendon of the muscle lateral digital extensor, lateral collateral ligament (deep and superficial components), (medial) medial collateral ligament (deep and superficial components) and (palmar) palmar intercarpal ligament, carpal sheath, carpal tunnel, superficial digital flexor tendon, proximal origin of the deep digital flexor tendon, and palmar carpal ligament. Prior knowledge of the anatomy in combination with the study of anatomical specimens is essential for recognizing musculoskeletal structures during ultrasound examination, contributing to the training and learning processes.