Ultrasound-guided perineural injection of the tibial nerve in the horse versus a ‘blind’ technique

Bellitto, N. A. , Voute, L., Reardon, R. and Withers, J. M. (2023) Ultrasound-guided perineural injection of the tibial nerve in the horse versus a ‘blind’ technique. Equine Veterinary Education, (doi: 10.1111/eve.13855) (Early Online Publication)

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Background: Tibial perineural analgesia has often been reported to fail to achieve nerve desensitisation in horses. Ultrasound-guided (US-guided) techniques have recently been described to improve tibial perineural desensitisation. Objectives: To compare US-guided and ‘blind’ tibial perineural analgesia techniques in lameness investigation. Study design: Randomised clinical trial. Methods: Horses presenting for lameness investigation, which required tibial perineural analgesia, were randomly assigned either to a US-guided or blind injection group. The efficacy of perineural analgesia was assessed by testing the loss of skin sensation at the medial and lateral heel bulbs. Skin sensation was assessed, prior to injection and then at four intervals post-injection (10–15, 20–25, 30–35 and 40–45 min) using a hand-held digital algometer with a 1 mm diameter pin; a value of 25 N was defined as indicative of skin desensitisation. The time taken to perform each injection technique and any adverse reactions were recorded. Summary statistics were performed to examine differences between groups. The frequency of skin desensitisation was compared between groups using a Fisher's exact test and the length of time taken to perform injections was compared using a Mann–Whitney U test. Results: Sixteen US-guided and 11 blind injections were included in the study. All cases undergoing US-guided injection lost skin sensation, whereas this occurred in only one case receiving the blind injection. The US-guided group had a significantly higher probability of skin sensation loss (p < 0.001), although the injection technique took significantly longer to complete compared to the blind group (p < 0.001). No adverse reactions were noted with either perineural injection technique. Main limitations: Limited number of cases for each injection group. Conclusions: These findings suggest that US-guided tibial perineural injection is more likely to result in adequate and prompt tibial perineural analgesia compared to the blind injection technique, although it takes longer to complete.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Withers, Mr Jonathan and Reardon, Mr Richard and Voute, Dr Lance and Bellitto, Dr Nicholas
Authors: Bellitto, N. A., Voute, L., Reardon, R., and Withers, J. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Equine Veterinary Education
ISSN (Online):2042-3292
Published Online:17 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Equine Veterinary Education 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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