Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Elbow: hygroma

Synonym(s): Hygroma, Shoe boil, Oolecranon bursitis, Capped elbow

Contributor(s): Steve Adair, Graham Munroe

Introduction

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Chronic repetitive or acute direct trauma to point of elbow.
  • Most commonly caused by the hoof of the affected limb chronically traumatizing the point of the elbow whilst the horse is resting in sternal recumbency.
  • Poor or inadequate bedding in box or stall   →    direct trauma from a hard floor to the elbow region.
  • Excessive recumbency, ie laminitis   Foot: laminitis  , fracture or other severe lameness.
  • Also seen in high-gaited breeds where the elbow is traumatized by the same hoof or that of another limb during exercise.
  • Unilateral or bilateral.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Insufficient bedding.
  • Long heels.
  • Extended heel shoes.
  • Prolonged recumbency.

Pathophysiology

  • Trauma   →    repetitive   →    damage to subcutaneous tissue and formation of acquired bursa   →    accumulation of synovial bursal fluid   →    capsule thickening and fibrosis with a synovial-like lining membrane.
  • Inflammation of the bursa beneath the triceps brachii muscle usually also occurs.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Kirker-Head C A (1999) Hygroma at the Point of the Elbow. In: Equine Medicine and Surgery. 5th edn. Eds: Colahan P T, Merritt A M, Moore J N & Mayhew I G. Mosby, USA. pp 1653.
  • Hardy J (1995) Diseases of Soft Tissue. In: The Horse. diseases and Clinical Management. Eds: Kobluk C N, Ames T R & Geor R G. W B Saunders, USA. pp 802.


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