Butcher H* and Simpson T
Equine Performance Physiotherapy, Sydney, NSW and Royal Randwick Racecourse and Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, Australia and School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, UK
*Corresponding Author: Butcher H, Equine Performance Physiotherapy, Sydney, NSW and Royal Randwick Racecourse and Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, Australia and School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, UK.
Received: April 14, 2020; Published: May 29, 2020
Background: Overriding or impinging dorsal spinous process’ is the most common diagnosis of primary back pain in the sports horse population with confirmed links to loss of performance. Racehorses may be predisposed to this condition due to the nature of the work performed from a young age.
Objectives: The current study aimed to establish whether 5 non-invasive clinical assessment measures routinely used within physiotherapy were able to predict underlying symptomatic overriding dorsal spinous processes (ORDSP) or osseous pathology prior to confirmation via veterinary diagnostics.
Study Design: This study was conducted as a retrospective study of 11 horses treated between September 2018 and April 2019. Horses were in training at stables in the Sydney metropolitan area.
Methods: Physiotherapy assessment comprised 5 objective measures inclusive of epaxial and hindlimb atrophy scores (0 - 3 via modified muscle condition score WSAVA), lumbopelvic flexion (inclinometer measurements), thoracolumbar epaxial pressure algometry scores (Wagner Pain Test scores Kgf/cm2), presence of dorsal spinous pain (DSP) (yes/no), presence of hindlimb asymmetry (yes/no) as well as performance reports from Racing New South Wales (0 - 2 race ratings). Veterinary diagnostics utilising 1 or a combination of ultrasonography, radiography or scintigraphy were employed post physiotherapy assessment to either confirm or deny the presence of ORDSP or osseous pathology.
Results: The 5 objective measures were not statistically significant when employed independently for detecting the presence of ORDSP. Collectively, the 5 measures did, however, identify pathological osseous changes in all 11 horses. Although not specific for ORDSP, the 5 measures may provide improved objective sensitivity to inform clinical assessment of performance limiting back pain in the racehorse.
Main Limitations: Results should be interpreted as indicative given the small sample size and the retrospective nature of objective data collection. Furthermore, sampling bias may have occurred due to including horses only from stables that are routinely serviced by both physiotherapists and veterinarians.
Conclusion: Despite veterinary diagnostics providing information regarding pathoanatomical issues and metabolic activity of osseous lesions, the inclusion of physiotherapy assessment may provide further objective information regarding pain and function.
Keywords:Horse; Thoroughbred; Racehorse; Imaging; Spinous Process; Kissing Spines; Physiotherapy
Citation: Butcher H and Simpson T. “A Retrospective Review of Physiotherapy Findings in Thoroughbred Racehorses with Confirmed Diagnoses of Impinging Dorsal Spinous Processes”. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences 2.6 (2020): 18-27.
Copyright: © 2020 Butcher H and Simpson T. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.