Friday, November 27, 2009

3D study of neck anatomy

Wobbler syndrome (Cervical Vertebral Malformation, CVM) is a common condition of Thoroughbred horses. Affected horses have a characteristic “wobbly” gait, caused by compression of the spinal cord.

In some cases, the signs of Wobbler Syndrome (Cervical Vertebral Malformation, CVM) have been linked to arthritic changes in the cervical articular process joints. These are the joints between adjacent vertebrae in the neck. They can become inflamed, which can result in soft tissue swelling, thickening of the joint capsule and new bone formation. The joints lie close to the spinal cord, so any increase in their size is a cause for concern.

Some “wobblers” have marked bony and soft tissue swelling around the joints. But does an increase in fluid in these joints result in spinal cord compression, even if no other bony of soft tissue changes are present? If so, it might be possible to prevent the disease progressing by detecting and treating the inflammation at an early stage.

Holly Claridge, working at the Royal Veterinary College, conducted a study using Computed Tomography to examine the structure of the horse’s neck. She found that the joints these joints do indeed extend towards, but do not actually touch, the spinal cord.

So, unless soft tissue or bony changes are also present, it seems unlikely that inflammation or swelling of these joints causes spinal cord compression.

More details...

1 comment:

Ken Zelez said...

What is the suggested treatment of this symdrome?