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Characterisation of cervical synovial folds in horses

L. N. Thomsen, L. C. Berg, B. Markussen, P. D. Thomsen

CERVICAL synovial folds have been suggested as a potential cause of neck pain in human beings; however, little is known about the extent and characteristics of cervical synovial folds in horses. The objective of this explorative study was to determine the frequency of synovial folds in equine cervical articular process joints and to provide a characterisation of the size and morphology of the synovial folds.

Folds of the synovial membrane may have a supportive, stabilising, lubricating and protective function in the joint and could potentially prevent direct contact between incongruent and bony structures. Horses are prone to cervical trauma and, because of the extensive range of motion in some of the joints and the load on the cervical articular process joints, synovial folds could become entrapped or disrupted.

Six horses, euthanased for reasons other than cervical joint disease, were used in the study and yielded 50 joints and 85 potential synovial folds for examination. The synovial folds were evaluated in both the cranial and …

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