Equine muscle trauma

Muscle tears and trauma

Muscle is fairly easy to tear and has minimal capacity for regeneration. Repair occurs by replacement of muscle fibers with scar tissue.

Muscle tearing results in hematoma formation and mild signs of inflammation. In horses, the hematoma typically resolves into a seroma and then is absorbed by the body.

Scar tissue replaces the torn muscle and can restrict motion. As scar tissue doesn’t stretch, recurrent tearing is common.

Healing is usually rapid unless a large hematoma forms. Hematomas can take months to resolve.

Therapy involves careful stretching during the healing process to minimize scarring to other structures. Therapeutic ultrasound is often used when available.

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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD; Elaine Norton, DVM PhD; Erica Dobbs, DVM; and Ashley Ezzo, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.