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FIGURES 1 AND 2. The navicular ligaments are shown from both the lateral (left) and palmar viewpoints. The suspensory navicular ligament is red and the distal navicular ligament is blue.
This is the last of the ligament series, but it is not the last of the ligaments that exist in the horse’s leg. Serious students can take their studies well beyond these anatomy articles, but this will finish the basics of the ligaments my students must master.
So far, we have studied 18 ligaments, most of which could be classified together into groups of one sort or another. Of these last seven, two are navicular ligaments, and the five other ligaments stand on their own. These five are classified only as ligaments that don’t have a category. Let’s start with the navicular ligaments.
1. Suspensory Navicular Ligament: The suspensory navicular ligament originates from the collateral, distal long pastern, dorsal to the collateral ligaments of the pastern joint. It runs down both sides of the short pastern and inserts along the proximal edge of the navicular bone. I have my students think about this ligament as a swing set. The ligament would be the chain, and the navicular bone would be the seat.
2. Distal Navicular Ligament: The distal navicular ligament is also known as the impar ligament. It basically attaches the distal/dorsal edge of the navicular bone to the area of the coffin bone just behind the semi-lunar crest, where the deep flexor tendon inserts. This ligament holds…