CURO aka “Acoustic Myography”
Injuries to the upper (proximal) portion of a horse's suspensory ligament (PSL) can be challenging to diagnose, treat, and monitor healing.
The suspensory ligament, like all ligaments, facilitates energy storage for movement. A small amount of muscle fiber in the tissue provides tension. Acoustic myography (AMG) aka CURO measures the pressure waves within the tissue, essentially allowing veterinarians to “listen” to the how the tissues move.
In Virginia, Dr. Kent Allen and his group produced a research paper validating the use of the CURO device to predict proximal suspensory ligament (PSL) injury in the hind limbs of horses. They identified significant differences in scores between horses with PSL injury and non-PSL injury.
Dr. Allen likens healthy and unhealthy PSLs to a guitar: “Strum a tuned guitar string, and it’ll dampen normally and produce a pleasant sound. Untuned, it won’t dampen normally and will produce an unpleasing sound. As you can see in the graphic below, PSL with a score of >5 are within normal limits, while PSL with a score of <5 are abnormal.
The use of the CURO device, in conjunction with a thorough clinical examination, can help us to determine the presence of suspensory injury in your horse. The early detection of a PSL injury may be the difference between a more serious injury with a prolonged rest and rehabilitation time and a more mild injury with a shorter rehabilitation. The CURO allows us to catch early, perhaps clinically subtle PSL injuries before they become severe PSL injuries.