Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Calcaneal bursa: bursoscopy

Contributor(s): Jessica A Kidd-Millar, Graham Munroe

Introduction

  • The calcaneal or intertendinous bursa lies between the dorsal surface of the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) and the gastrocnemius tendon. It extends from the proximal (~9.6 cm) to the distal (~7 cm) point of hock on the plantar aspect of the calcaneus. In most horses there is a connection to the gastrocnemius bursa (100% medially, 50% laterally), which is small, and located dorsal to the insertion of the gastrocnemius tendon on the tuber calcanei.
  • In 39% of horses in one study there was a connection to the variably present subcutaneous bursa slightly distal to the point of the hock.

Uses

  • Investigation of the calcaneal bursa where there is lameness localized to the bursa or possible pathology on radiographs or ultrasound scanning   Calcaneal bursa: bursitis  .
  • Osteolytic lesions of the calcaneal tuber, including osseous cyst-like lesions   Bone: osseous cyst-like lesions  .
  • Damage to the calcaneal retinacular insertions of the SDFT   SDFT: luxation  .
  • Traumatic injuries of the calcaneus often associated with skin wounds at the point of the hock, bone damage or fragmentation, and sepsis of the bursae.
  • Tendinitis of the SDFT   SDFT: tendinitis  .

Advantages

  • Good visualization of the various parts of the bursae with small skin wounds, reduced post-operative care, earlier return to movement, decreased post-operative convalescence, and superior results.

Disadvantages

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Varies with the specific pathology but guarded in infections, bone fragmentation and injuries of the calcaneal insertions of the SDFT.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wright I M & Minshall G J (2012) Injuries of the calcaneal insertions of the superficial digital flexor tendon in 19 horses. Equine Vet J 44 (2), 136-142 PubMed.
  • Post E M, Singer E R & Clegg P D (2007) An anatomic study of the calcaneal bursae in the horse. Vet Surg 36 (1), 3-9 PubMed.
  • Ingle-Fehr J E & Baxter G M (1998) Endoscopy of the calcaneal bursa in horses. Vet Surg 27 (6), 561-567 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • McIlwraith C W, Nixon A J, Wright I M & Boening K J (2005) Bursoscopy. In: Diagnostic and Surgical Arthroscopy in the Horse. 3rd edn. Elsevier, UK. pp 495-498.


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