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Sidebones (ossification of the collateral cartilages of the foot), although uncommon in warm- and hot-blooded horses, are common in the forefeet of cold-blooded horses including the Finnhorse. This study examined the clinical significance of sidebones in 21 Finnhorses examined by bone scans (nuclear scintigraphy) and radiography.
The lateral cartilages had more ossification and more separate centers of ossification compared with those on the medial side. However, no difference in scintigraphy results was noted between lateral and medial sides and no link between the height of sidebones and scintigraphy results was detected. Clearly separate centers of ossification were not associated with scintigraphy results or lameness, but incomplete fusion lines near the base of the ossification and the palmar process were linked to lameness and increased nuclear uptake. Ossified cartilages that appear irregular compared with others in the forefeet of the same individual also tended to be significant.
The researchers noted that some of the lameness seen with sidebones was subtle — gait abnormalities seen at high speed rather than overt lameness. They concluded increased nuclear uptake with a radiographic appearance different from that of other cartilages in the front feet of a given horse is a conclusive sign of clinical relevance.
— Ruohoniemi M, et al. Equine Vet. J 2004;36:143-148.
Although systemic anti-inflammatory medications are effective in treating many musculoskeletal injuries, they can have serious side effects such as gastric ulceration and kidney damage. This experiment investigated the potential of a diclofenac…