Learn More About The Most Common Hock Joint Problems That Can Affect Your Horse and How We Can Help You Overcome them!

Join Me On The Complete Horseman's Guide to Hock Joint Issues!

Hock problems in horses are an important performance-limiting factor worldwide. 
In this series, I will be talking about the stifle joint. Each series will focus on a different joint or section of the horse
Alberto Rullan, VMD
We Can Provide Full Service From Consulting to Diagnosing to Treating all Equine Orthopedic Problems. 
Below is a guide for horsemen and horsewomen to have a good understanding of hock problems in horses, how can they affect their performance, and what can be done about them. This is by no means all the possible problems of the hock. 

The hock Joint 

Distal intermediate ridge of the tibia (DIRT) OCD
Treatments for OCD of the Distal Intermediate Ridge of the Tibia (DIRT) include:
Surgical removal (preferred treatment) or do nothing and wait to see if it will bother the horse
Spurs in the tarso metatarsal joint
The preferred treatment for osteoarthritis of this joint is medication with corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, PRP, Stem Cells, or Stanozolol.  New treatments include amnion, noltrex, alfa 2 macromolecule
Osteoarthritis of the distal intertarsal joint
The preferred treatment for osteoarthritis of this joint is medication with corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, PRP, Stem Cells, or Stanozolol. New treatments include amnion, noltrex, alfa 2 macromolecule
Lower hock joints arthritis
Lower hock joint severe arthritis could be a quite limiting disease. Once the joints fuse (arthrodesis) then they don't hurt anymore.  We can accomplish this with alcohol injections or surgical intervention, depends on the case. 
Medial malleolus OCD
Severe case of medial malleolus OCD. Surgical Removal is the preferred method of treatment for this case. 
Small medial malleolus OCD
Very small medial malleolous OCD. Surgical removal is our prefered method of treatment. Sometimes a horse without surgery gets lucky and does not have problems with this fragment. 
Severe arthritis of both lower hock joints and proximal intertarsal joint. 
3rd tarsal bone fracture with joint involvement.
These injuries are usually created when the bones are not fully developed and immature.  There is too much pressure from the top and the bottom bones that creates a break in the bone. Possible treatment for this scenario includes hock arthrodesis. 
Small OCD from distal lateral trochlear ridge
These OCD carry a very good prognosis for athletic performance. Only when they get loose and go into the joint do they cause problems. This seldom happens when they are located on this very specific site. This radiograph also shows another issue which is in the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia (DIRT). We will explain that next.  
OCD from distal intermediate ridge of the tibia 
This radiograph shows an example of an OCD (osteochondrosis dissecans) lesion in the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia (DIRT). The prognosis for this lesion is excellent with surgical removal. 
OCD from distal intermediate ridge of the tibia 
This radiograph shows examples of lesions in the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia (DIRT) after a large fragment has been removed. 
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