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Osteoarthritis of the Talocalcaneal Joint in Horses

By Jane C. Boswell, MA, VetMB, CertVA, CertES (Orth), DECVS, MRCVS, The Liphook Equine Hospital ; James K. Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University ; Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS, Anoka Equine Veterinary Services ; Peter Clegg, MA, Vet MB, DipECVS, PhD, MRCVS, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Liverpool ; Matthew T. Brokken, DVM, The Ohio State University ; Marcus J. Head, BVetMed, Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre ; James Schumacher, DVM, MS, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee ; John Schumacher, DVM, MS, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University ; Chris Whitton, BVSc, FANZCVS, PhD, Equine Centre, University of Melbourne

Osteoarthritis of the talocalcaneal joint is rare. There are frequently no localizing signs. Lameness is usually partially improved by intra-articular analgesia of the tarsocrural joint and alleviated by perineural analgesia of the fibular and tibial nerves. Diagnosis is confirmed by radiography, with radiologic changes of subchondral sclerosis, lysis, and joint narrowing evident within the talocalcaneal joint. The prognosis for return to athletic soundness with conservative management is poor. Surgical arthrodesis has resulted in improvement in lameness but not complete resolution of signs.