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

Join Me On The Complete Horseman's Guide to Horse Joint Issues! The Carpus (knee) Series

Joint problems in horses are the number one performance-limiting factor worldwide. 
In this series, I will be talking about the carpus
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 carpal problems in horses, how can they affect their performance, and what can be done about them. 

The Carpus

Spur in the proximal intermediate carpal bone
Treatments for this problem include:
joint injections if needed. This is what we call the upper knee joint.  Which is quite a bit of a forgiving joint for spurs and horses can perform quite well this type of sprus in this joint. 
Spur in distal medial radius
The preferred treatment for osteoathrtis of this joint is medication with corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, PRP, Stem Cells or Stanozolol.  New treatments include amnion, noltrex, alfa 2 macromolecule
Slab fracture of the third carpal bone. 
In this radiograph you may see the fracture in 2 different views. Can you? Surgical repair together with regenerative medicine is my preferred treatment for this horse. 
Mineralization distal palmar ulnar carpal bone
Small mineralizations palmar distal to the ulnar carpal bone. No action is necessary in this case, the prognosis is good.   
Fragment distal intermediate carpal bone
This could be reported as remodeling of the distal intermediate carpal bone or a chip. It carries a guarded prognosis and there is a chance it will affect these horse athletic careers at some point due to the development of arthritis of this joint. Surgical removal followed by regenerative therapy is the best course of action. 
Remodeling distal radio carpal bone
Slight remodeling distal to the radiocarpal bone.  Careful attention must be paid to the joint health of this horse. Therapeutic shoeing should be performed relieving pressure from the medial side and loading the lateral side. Any sign of increased fluid should be treated aggressively. 
Upper joint fragements
Fragment (chip) proximal radiocarpal bone and also the distal radius. The preferred method of treatment for this problem is surgical removal, followed by treatment of the joint with either regenerative therapies and/or orthobionics such as polyacrylamide.  
Caudal radio capal bone fragment
This is a weanling thoroughbred that has a fragement on the caudal radio carpal bone.  This is not a surgival disease and in general conservative management do well for this cases. Some of them might re attach.  
Small chip distal radiocarpal bone
Small chip distal to radio carpal bone.
Sclerosis 3rd Carpal Bone
Sclerosis of the Radial Facet of the third carpal bone is an indication of stress adaptpation to the bone.  Many times this is painful and will cuase lameness. On the thoroughbred pre purchae examination this is quite an important and relevant finding.   
Fragment distal radio carpal bone
Distal radiocapal bone fragement could predispose horses to ostearthritis of the knee (carpus). Its important to get a surgeon's consult to evaluate the future prognosis of the horse athletic performance with the posibility of surgical removal.   
Remodeling distal radio carpal bone
Remodeling distal to the radiocarpal bone.  Careful attention must be paid to the joint health of this horse. Therapeutic shoeing should be performed relieving pressure from the medial side and loading the lateral side. Any sign of increased fluid should be treated aggressively. 
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