Editor's note: This article was first published in the Winter 2016 issue of EquiManagement magazine.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology (ISELP). Formed in 1996 by Jean-Marie Denoix, DVM, PhD, ISELP has provided extensive educational opportunities for equine practitioners involved in locomotor function and biomechanics. With the focus on equine lameness, up-to-date information and techniques are continually being advanced and the knowledge imparted through educational modules to equine practitioners.
Currently there are more than 600 ISELP members around the world, with 30 of them achieving certification by the organization. In a recent newsletter, ISELP said it was the “fastest growing equine sports medicine association in the world.”
Sponsorships from corporations involved in equine health care have contributed to the educational module opportunities, which have provided nearly 1,300 hours of educational offerings in addition to wet labs, student programs, farrier days and advanced courses.
ISELP modules available for study divide the equine locomotor system into eight parts:
1. Distal front limb–foot, pastern and fetlock joint
2. Middle front limb–palmar fetlock, metacarpus and tendons, carpus and carpal canal
3. Proximal front limb–forearm, elbow and shoulder
4. Distal hind limb–foot, pastern, fetlock and metatarsus
5. Middle hind limb–hock and crus
6. Proximal hind limb–stifle and thigh
7. Neck and thoracolumbar area
8. Lumbosacral and pelvic areas
In addition to the four live modules offered each year in the United States and Europe, the modules are available on DVD for purchase. Over a three-day course of study, each module details anatomy, biomechanics, clinical examination, diagnostic imaging, treatment and management, as well as prognosis about various lameness conditions.
ISELP members also have access to a member forum to discuss case studies.
To become certified, an ISELP member with at least five years of equine practice experience must also complete all eight modules and submit 10 documented case studies, along with an analysis of 10 scientific papers from at least four different journals or proceedings. The applicant must then pass an examination within three years of module completion.
Whether a veterinarian is motivated to pursue certification or is simply seeking an in-depth review of equine locomotion, ISELP enables that practitioner to be “better prepared to understand and manage lameness conditions in the equine athlete.”