Objective— To describe and evaluate a technique for radical resection of the entire intrathecal component of the common digital extensor tendon (CDET) in horses.
Study Design— Prospective clinical study.
Animals or Sample Population— Seven client-owned horses.
Methods— Seven horses with wounds that resulted in septic tenosynovitis of the CDET sheath were treated by complete surgical resection of the affected tendon and ablation of the tendon sheath; 5 had previous surgery that was unsuccessful. Time from initial injury to complete resection was 1–22 weeks. In 6 horses, the wound was closed primarily using a closed suction (4 horses), penrose (1), or passive open drainage system (1). In 1 horse, the surgical wound healed by second intention. All horses had postoperative bandaging, antibiotic administration, and physiotherapy.
Results— Surgical wounds healed primarily in 6 horses and by second intention in 1 horse. Follow-up (mean, 26.4 months; range, 18–38 months) was available for 6 horses; all returned to their athletic performance level without lameness or gait abnormality.
Conclusions— Complete resection of the CDET was an effective surgical technique for management of chronic septic tenosynovitis.
Clinical Relevance— Horses with infection of the CDET and its sheath may be returned to long-term soundness without gait abnormality after radical resection.