Executive Editor: Jörg Auer

Authors: Jörg Auer

Phalanges Fetlock joint, Disruption

back to skeleton

Glossary

Arthrodesis: tension bad using wires or the sesamoid bones
Main indication Skill Equipment
Return to soundness Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Full specialized surgical and imaging resources


In the instance of degenerative disease (left) of the fetlock joint the indication is pain to the degree that the horse chooses not to use the limb normally and endangers the opposing limb from overload weight bearing and to laminitis.
It is preferable to treat the arthritis and solve it, but if the joint is too severely effected, elimination of motion is another option to create soundness.
In the instance of anatomic disruption of the fetlock joint any fracture or traumatic event that disables the weight-bearing capabilities of the fetlock joint would be an indication for fetlock arthrodesis if enough of the anatomy remains unaffected to create stable fixation.

Contraindications are:

  • Avascularity of the distal limb
  • Pre-existing serious infection
  • The need for athletic activity (the fetlock arthrodesis is a salvage procedure for a second career only, not for athletic use.)
*Skill
Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills
Some specialized surgical experience Some specialized surgical experience
Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Highly experienced and skilled surgeon
*Equipment
Basic equipment only Basic equipment only
Simple surgical and imaging resources Simple surgical and imaging resources
Full specialized surgical and imaging resources Full specialized surgical and imaging resources

v1.3 2013-11-20