Nerve blocks (or ‘diagnostic regional analgesia’) use local anaesthetic to ‘numb’ different specific areas. If the painful area is blocked and the lameness improves – then it can be reasonably assumed that the pain is originating from this location.
A joint block is performed under sterile, aseptic conditions. The area is cleaned and the joint or synovial structure is infiltrated with local anaesthetic. The lameness is then re-assessed.
When the origin of pain has been identified, x-ray imaging and/or an ultrasonographic examination can be performed, hopefully leading to a diagnosis. Occasionally, more detailed imaging is required, in the form of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). MRI is useful for investigating foot pain as it produces 600-900 highly detailed images of the complicated soft tissue and bony structures of this area.
Once the cause of the lameness has been established, we can advise you on appropriate treatments and management strategies. This can include, but is not limited to, box rest and a change of management at home, shockwave therapy, surgeries (i.e neurectomy and fasciotomy procedures), oral pain relief, steroid injections or remedial shoeing. We are extremely lucky to have a remedial world champion farrier, Grant Moon FWCF, regularly attend the hospital for shoeing.
If you have any further queries, or wish to book an appointment with one of our vets for a lameness issue, please do not hesitate to contact our reception team on 01283 799700.