Cunean Tendon Tenectomy
Cunean Tendon Tenectomy, also referred as “cutting the Jacks” is a surgery that has been around for ages. The old timers used to cut these tendons much more often, before good medication for local injections of the cunean bursa came along. Despite medical advancements, this is still a common procedure in some veterinary clinics.
The Idea behind the procedure is that a horse that is developing osteoarthritis in the lower hock joints (also referred to as “bone spavin” or fusing the hocks) and inflammation of the cunean bursa (bursitis) is to relieve the tension on the cunean bursa (that lies underneath the tendon) without causing any gait abnormalities. These arthritic changes that the horse is going through are a common cause of lameness in horses, especially those that have to turn with their hind feet for a living (like barrel racing horses, cutting horses, trotters, etc.). The inflammation in the Hocks can be regulated by applying medication systemically or locally (usually Hyaluronic acid) and by this diminishing the inflammation and furtherly lubricating the joints. The cunean bursa is a synovial structure that lies between the cunean tendon (which is found on the medial part of the lower joints of the hock) and the bone. when the hocks are going through these arthritic changes, pressure is applied on the lower joints from the tendon and the inflammation of the bursa is an additional cause of discomfort to the horse and results in lameness. Injection of a local anesthetic in the cunean bursa and the horse going sound gives good indication for either injecting the cunean bursa or cutting of the tendon. When more aggressive treatment is warranted, the cutting of the tendon is the treatment of choice.