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Tarsal Joint Luxation 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

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.