MSD Manual

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Professional Version

Tarsal Joint Luxation in Horses


Jane C. Boswell

, MA, VetMB, CertVA, CertES (Orth), DECVS, MRCVS

Last full review/revision Sep 2015 | Content last modified Jun 2016

Complete luxation or subluxation of the tarsocrural, talocalcaneal-centroquartal, and tarsometatarsal joint may occur with or without concurrent tarsal bone fracture as the result of severe trauma. Horses may be salvaged for breeding or retirement to pasture by reducing the luxation under general anesthesia and applying a full limb cast for 6–8 wk followed by a further 4–8 wk of immobilization in a heavily padded bandage. Restricted range of motion of the hock and progressive osteoarthritis means these horses are unlikely to return to athletic use.

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