Palmar foot pain is frequently treated by steroid injections into the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) in the anticipation that the steroid will diffuse to the navicular bursa and palmar foot structures. The object of this study was to determine if triamcinolone acetonide (TA) would in fact be able to locally diffuse from the DIPJ into the navicular bursa in horses affected by palmar foot pain. Both forelimb DIPJs (nine horses) were injected with 10 mg of TA. Navicular bursa fluid samples, both forelimb and one hind limb (systemic control), were analysed for TA with high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) six hours later. Foot radiographs were graded (0–4) on severity of changes. Forelimb navicular bursa TA concentrations (mean±sd log10, 3.20±0.56) were significantly higher than systemic control concentrations (mean±sd log10, 1.89±0.3) (P<0.0001). Horses with a radiographic grade of >2 were four times as likely to have TA log10 concentrations less than 3.2 (158.49 ng/ml). TA locally diffused from the DIPJ into the navicular bursa in horses affected by palmar foot pain; TA concentrations decreased as radiographic severity increased.
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