Research Journal

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Sidebone, Coffin Joint Injuries Linked

A cross-sectional study of 462 horses examined at a veterinary referral hospital was conducted to investigate the relationship between sidebone (ossification of the collateral cartilages) and injury to the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint or coffin bone. All horses in the study had a foot lameness that had not been explained by X-rays, ultrasounds or bone scans. X-rays were used to grade the sidebone on a scale of 0 to 5. Ligament and coffin bone injuries were determined from clinical and MRI examinations.

Most of the horses had little or no sign of sidebone (Grades 0 or 1). When a sidebone grade greater than 2 was present, there was most commonly no difference between the left and right feet, and most (68%) had symmetrical ossification on the medial and lateral sides. Only 13% of the feet had sidebone graded greater than 2, but these were significantly associated with injury of the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint and the coffin bone.

Although it is difficult to appreciate the strengths of the associations identified in this study given the data presented, it seems clear that sidebone may be more clinically important in lame horses than once believed.

— Dyson S et al. EVJ 2010;42:504-511.

Blood Tests For Injury Proves Difficult

A prospective study of 238 2- and 3-year-old racehorses was conducted…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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