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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • tendinopathy;
  • SDFT;
  • matrix;
  • collagen

Summary

Tendon injury is one of the most common causes of wastage in the performance horse; the majority of tendon injuries occur to the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) whereas few occur to the common digital extensor tendon. This review outlines the epidemiology and aetiology of equine tendon injury, reviews the different functions of the tendons in the equine forelimb and suggests possible reasons for the high rate of failure of the SDFT. An understanding of the mechanisms leading to matrix degeneration and subsequent tendon gross failure is the key to developing appropriate treatment and preventative measures.