Sacropelvic Module

All modules are RACE Approved for Continuing Education Credit.

6 Hours of CE Credit and RACE Approved

This course module provides the foundation needed to evaluate horses with pelvic asymmetries and sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction. A review of the unique articular and ligamentous features of the sacroiliac joint and muscles acting on the lumbosacral junction are discussed. Biomechanical topics include muscles responsible flexion and extension of the lumbosacral joint and the structural-functional relationships of individual sacroiliac ligaments. A review of the pathological process affecting the pelvis and sacroiliac joint is presented. A detailed description of the skills needed to evaluate sacropelvic pain and dysfunction is provided. Treatment options for managing sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction include medical and rehabilitation methods.

Section 1 Functional Anatomy: Sacropelvic Region

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course content, the student will be able to:
• Readily identify palpable boney landmarks within the sacropelvic region of horses
• Describe the unique articular and ligamentous features of the sacroiliac joint
• Explain the different types of joint motion associated with the articulations found within the sacropelvic region
• List the muscles within the sacropelvic region and describe their general attachment sites
• Discuss the differences between muscles that contribute to lumbosacral flexion-extension and muscles that contribute to pelvic limb protraction-retraction
• Describe the innervation of the sacropelvic musculature and the muscles of the proximal hind limb

Clips
• Introduction
• Pelvis
• Sacrum and sacroiliac joint
• Sacrocaudal junction and tail
• Pelvic fascia and musculature
• Sacropelvic innervation and lumbosacral plexus

Section 2 Spinal Biomechanics: Sacropelvic Region

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course content, the student will be able to:
• Describe structural-functional relationships within the pelvic region
• Discuss the role of the individual ligaments that contribute to sacroiliac joint stability
• Explain the unique biomechanical features of the sacroiliac joint
• List the muscles responsible flexion and extension of the lumbosacral and coxofemoral joints
• Describe the relative functions of the individual sacroiliac ligaments during different gaits
• Explain the concept of pelvic deformation and how it relates to sacroiliac joint motion

Clips
• Introduction
• Pelvic limb muscle biomechanics
• Sacroiliac ligament biomechanics
• Pelvic deformation and sacroiliac joint kinematics
• Tail biomechanics

Section 3 Spinal Pathology: Sacropelvic Region

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course content, the student will be able to:
• Describe soft tissue, neurologic, and osseous lesions within the sacropelvic region of horses
• Analyze potential clinical and biomechanical relationships between osseous, soft tissue and neuropathology within the sacropelvic region
• Differentiate pelvic muscle asymmetry from osseous pelvic asymmetry
• Discuss ultrasonographic findings in horses with sacroiliac ligament desmitis
• Explain the innervation patterns of the equine sacroiliac joint and potential sources of neurologic compromise
• Discuss the pathological characteristics of sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis
• Describe the pathogenesis of pelvic asymmetries and prominent tuber sacrale
• List the different sites of potential pelvic fractures and the impact on adjacent muscles

Clips
• Introduction
• Skin disorders
• Soft tissue injuries
• Neurologic disorders
• Pelvic asymmetry
• Sacroiliac osteoarthritis
• Pelvic fractures

Section 4 Spinal Evaluation: Sacropelvic Region

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course content, the student will be able to:
• Describe the general skills used to evaluate sacropelvic pain and dysfunction
• Discuss the podetial clinical significance of soft tissue, osseous, and neurologic disorders within the sacropelvic region of horses
• Describe the clinical features associated with sacroiliac osteoarthritis
• Explain the potential interrelationship between sacropelvic pain and hind limb lameness
• Discuss the indications and utility of diagnostic imaging modalities as applied to the sacropelvic region
• Demonstrate the ability to apply an outline or framework for conducting a detailed physical examination of the sacropelvic region in horses
• Describe methods used to assess pelvic pain, stiffness, and muscle hypertonicity

Clips
• Introduction
• Static observation: Sacropelvic region
• Dynamic observation: Sacropelvic region
• Soft tissue palpation: Sacropelvic region
• Bony palpation: Sacropelvic region
• Pelvis and pelvic limb mobilization
• Sacroiliac joint mobilization

Section 5 Treatment Options: Sacropelvic Pain and Dysfunction

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course content, the student will be able to:
• Outline conservative approaches for managing sacropelvic pain and dysfunction in horses
• Identify primary rehabilitation issues and provide treatment options for sacropelvic issues based on the specific needs of an individual horse
• Discuss the different treatment approaches for managing acute versus chronic sacropelvic pain
• Describe the role of stiffness, weakness, and neuromuscular dysfunction as it relates to the sacropelvic region
• Discuss possible medical and rehabilitation approaches for treating sacroiliac joint osteoarthritis
• Develop a treatment plan to address a lack of hind limb impulsion
• Explain the mechanisms of action of aquatic therapy as it relates to weakness localized to the sacropelvic region

Clips
• Introduction
• Sacropelvic treatment options: Literature review
• Sacroiliac osteoarthritis
• Sacropelvic stiffness
• Sacroiliac ligament desmitis
• Poor impulsion
• Sacropelvic weakness

kevin haussler

Kevin K. Haussler

Dr. Haussler graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, and completed a small animal internship in Sacramento, California. To further his training in the conservative management of spinal-related disorders, he completed a certification program in human training at Palmer College of Chiropractic-West. He attended the University of California-Davis and attained a PhD focused on spinal pathology and pelvic biomechanics in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Post-doctorate training involved the evaluation of in-vivo spinal kinematics in horses at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Dr. Haussler directed the newly formed Integrative Medicine Service which provided chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy services to both small and large animals. He is an Associate Professor at the Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State University and is involved in teaching, clinical duties, and research into the objective assessment of musculoskeletal pain, spinal dysfunction, and the application of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Dr. Haussler is a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and course instructor for the Equine Rehabilitation Certification course, co-branded by the University of Tennessee and Colorado State University.