Rupture of collateral ligaments in metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints in horses: 17 cases (1999-2005)

Wade A. Tenney, Mary B Whitcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To characterize ruptures of collateral ligaments (CLs) in metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints in horses. Design - Retrospective case series. Animals - 17 horses with ruptured CLs. Procedures - Data were obtained from medical records, including signalment, history, clinical signs, ultrasonographic and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcome. Additional follow-up information was obtained from owners or referring veterinarians. Results - The lateral CL was ruptured in 11 horses; the medial CL was ruptured in 6 horses. Ultrasonography revealed ipsilateral rupture of the short and long components of the CL in 11 horses and rupture of only 1 component in 6 horses. No biaxial ruptures were detected, but 9 horses had desmitis of the CL on the nonruptured side of the affected joint. All horses were lame (lameness score range, 2/5 to 4/5). Joint instability was palpable in 9 horses; only 4 horses had episodes of joint luxation. Avulsion fractures were identified radiographically in 6 horses and ultrasonographically in another 2 horses. Stress radiography revealed joint instability in 10 horses. Horses were managed by stall confinement, limb immobilization, and gradual return to exercise. Eight horses returned to riding, 2 resumed breeding, 2 were retired, 2 were euthanized, and 3 were doing well 86 to 139 days after injury. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Ultrasonographic examination is indicated in horses with acute lameness and swelling at the metacarpophalangeal or metatarsophalangeal joint, particularly when stress radiography cannot be performed or findings are equivocal. Affected horses can be conservatively managed. Prognosis for athletic use may be better than originally believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-462
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume233
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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