Research on Absorbable Implant in Young Horses

This commercially available implant might offer an alternative to treat subchondral cystic lesions in young horses in different anatomical locations.

This commercially available implant might offer an alternative to treat subchondral cystic lesions in young horses in different anatomical locations. Amy Dragoo

This retrospective case series evaluated an absorbable implant (Osteotrans-OT) for the treatment of subchondral cystic lesions (SCLs) in young horses in different anatomical locations. 

The research was titled, “A composite absorbable implant used to treat subchondral bone cysts in 38 horses” and was authored by Paolo Ravanetti, Antoine Lechartier, Muriel Hamon and Enrica Zucca.

The implant was composed of a composite of nano-hydroxyapatite and poly L-lactic acid. Thirty‐eight horses with SCLs between 10 and 24 months of age underwent debridement through a trans‐cortical extra‐articular approach and the absorbable implant was inserted in the cavity. Anatomical locations included the proximal phalanx, medial femoral condyle, radius and fourth carpal bone. Clinical and radiographic follow‐up ranged from 28 to 46 months. 

In 36 of 38 horses treated, lameness resolved, and 77% average filling of the cyst was measured 120 days after surgery on radiographs. Surgical complications were recorded in two cases.

Bottom line: An extra‐articular approach with insertion of an absorbable implant was successful, was feasible in different anatomical locations and might offer an alternative to treat SCLs in young horses. The implant is currently commercially available.

You can access this article from BEVA’s Equine Veterinary Journal here.

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