Objective— To describe and evaluate subtotal ostectomy of dorsal spinous processes (DSP) performed in standing horses.
Study Design— Retrospective study.
Sample Population— Nine adult horses.
Methods— The diseased portions of the DSP were removed with the horses standing and sedated after infiltrating a local anesthetic agent around the affected DSP. Medical records of affected horses were reviewed to determine history, findings of physical and radiographic examination, surgical technique, postoperative complications, and outcome.
Results— Five horses had subtotal ostectomy of DSP because of osteomyelitis, and 4 because of impingement and/or fracture of DSP. Affected portions of DSP were removed safely and effectively, with no apparent discomfort to the horses; hemorrhage was minimal.
Conclusions— Subtotal ostectomy of DSP can be performed safely in standing, conscious horses and the risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated. Hemorrhage is minimal compared to that which occurs when the procedure is performed with horses anesthetized and in lateral recumbency.
Clinical Relevance— Access and visibility are better when subtotal ostectomy of the DSP is performed with the horse standing rather than anesthetized and in lateral recumbency. Performing subtotal ostectomy of diseased DSP with the horse standing avoids the expense and risks of general anesthesia.