MSD Manual

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Professional Version

Developmental Orthopedic Disease in the Elbow of Horses


Marcus J. Head

, BVetMed

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2015 | Modified Oct 2022

Cyst-like lesions occur in the proximal radius (usually medial) and less commonly the distal humerus. They are most commonly seen in young animals, similar to cysts in other locations, and the usual treatment regimens of rest, intra-articular medication, and controlled exercise are used. As with the shoulder, access arthroscopically is limited. Extra-articular approaches to the proximal radius have been tried but have the same limitations as the shoulder, although in practice, when orthogonal radiographic projections can be obtained, there is more chance of building a three-dimensional impression of their size and location. Treatment options are limited.

Other types of developmental orthopedic disease in the elbow joint, seen commonly in other species, are rare or unrecognized in horses.

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