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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

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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.