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Summary

Implants of carbon fibre, made by plaiting a tow of 10,000 filaments of Grafil type HT-S, were used to treat strains and ruptures of digital flexor tendons in 46 horses. The relevant clinical data, the techniques employed and an analysis of the results are described. Apart from two horses in which the implant was extruded and had to be removed, there were minimal untoward consequences of the surgery. Of the 34 horses with acute or chronic tendinitis, 14 returned to racing, seven were used as hunters and seven as hacks. Among the former group, seven suffered a further strain while racing but the others performed well for some time. Twelve horses with severed tendons recovered well and only in one did infection occur. Overall the results in the latter were better than had previously been achieved using other repair materials.