In vitro assessment of movements of the sacroiliac joint in the horse
Back pain has long been one of the major causes of poor performance in human and horses. In human orthopaedics, the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is known to have an important role in nonspecific low back pain. In the horse, sacroiliac joint disease has long been associated with poor hindlimb action, hindlimb lameness and poor performance. Diagnosis of the SIJ is getting better with the development of new medical imaging.
This in vitro study is a step towards measurement of the capacity of the SIJ in nutation and counternutation. 6 Anatomical specimens underwent cycles of flexion-extension of the lumbosacral joint (LSJ) before and after desmotomy. Kinematic triads were linked rigidly to the sacrum, the iliac wing and the spinous process of vertebra L5. Angles are measured by using a joint coordinate system based on anatomical frames.
Movements of the SIJ are small and coupled only with the flexion of the LSJ. The ligaments surrounding the SIJ have a strong effect on the stabilisation of it. Due to the limited amount of movement, a biomechanical study in vivo is difficult. Further in vitro studies would be useful to determine the role of all the ligaments.
> Degueurce et al. Equine Vet J. 2004 Dec;36(8):694-8. All rights reserved to Elsevier 2004 Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary