Objective: To calculate maximal flexion/extension of the carpal, and fetlock joints, as well as the stance and swing percentage of the stride in horses walking on the underwater treadmill (UWTM) at four different levels, and walking on three conventional footings.
Animal-9 clinically sound adult horses.
Procedure-Two dimensional data was collected of horses walking on the UWTM at 4 water levels [,1cm of water (Baseline-B0 fetlock (F), tarsus (T), and stifle deep (s), and on hard ground (HD), soft ground(SF), and land treadmill (LT), Zinc oxide (for UWTM) or retroreflective markers (for conventional surfaces) were used as skin markers and placed at four specific anatomical locations on the left fore and hind limbs. Five gait cycles of each horse for each surface were analyzed. Maximal flexion/extension angles and range of motion (ROM) were calculated for each joint.
Underwater treadmill- ROM was greater for all evaluated joints walking in water (F,T,and S) compared to walking in no water (B), mainly due to an increased in flexion. The greates ROM for each joint was attained at the following water depths (in parentheses): carpus (T), tarsus (S), for fetlock (F and T), and hind fetlock (F and T).
Conventional surfaces- Maximal flexion of the tarsus and hind fetlock was greater on LT an SF compared to HD and carpus on LT compared to HD and SF compared to LT, and both fetlocks on LT compared to HD and SF. The greatest overall ROM of the carpus and fetlocks was achieved on LT, and tarsus on SF.
Conclusions and clinical relevance- These findings suggest that the UWTM is a usefull rehabilitation modality fo increaing ROM of the distal limbs, and that the depth of water should beconsidered. Aditionally, conventional walking surfaces have a subtle effect on flexion/extension of the distal limb. Therefore, data from this study could help equine clinicians decide which footing surface/water depth is the best for each individual orthopedic patient in the early rehabilition period.
University of Minnesota Master of Science thesis. August 2012. Major: Veterinary Medicine. Advisor: Troy Trumble. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 62 page.
Mendez-Angulo, Lose Leandro.
Effect of of water level on kinematics of healthy horses walked on an aquatic treadmill compared to conventional rehabilitation techniques.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.