A retrospective study was done recently by a group of researchers to look at the diagnosis, treatment and outcome of hindlimb proximal suspensory desmopathy (disease of the upper portion of the suspensory ligament), PSD, in sport horses. PSD is a common sport horse problem and the goal of this study was to “describe the rate of return to athletic function in 75 sport horses with hindlimb PSD treated either surgically, with extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) or with a combination of the two modalities.” 75 horses were included in this study after meeting very specific criteria with respect to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation protocols. 41 of these horses had surgery, with 24 returning to their previous level of work, 1/41 returned to a lower level, with an average of 10.1 months for that return. 34 horses received ESWT with 20/34 returning to their previous level of work and 4/34 to a lower level in 7.4 months on average. 15 horses remained lame after their primary treatment and were treated with other methods. 7/15 returned to their previous level of work after both treatments. 35/75 of these horses had only one hindlimb affected. Their results suggested that, while both groups had similar rates of return to athletic function, ESWT was able to return these horses to their previous athletic level sooner.
Scientific Article: Norvall, AP et al. Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome of Hindlimb
Proximal Suspensory Desmopathy in Sport Horses: 75 cases (2008-2014). AAEP
Proceedings, vol. 61, 2015, p. 358.