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Luxation of the Hock in Horses


Luxation of the hock may develop after surgical removal of an entire splint bone. Such surgical interventions are occasionally indicated in comminuted fractures of the proximal splint bone. During the removal, ligaments that provide distal anchoring are transected, and the tarsometatarsal joint is opened. A rough recovery of the horse from anesthesia may provoke the luxation. Occasionally a severe blow or kick to the area may also induce partial or complete luxation in the tarsal region.

Subluxations may be managed with splint bandages and prolonged bandaging. Complete luxations must be treated by means of internal fixation with plates applied along the entire calcaneus and down to the midportion of the third metatarsal. If surgery is not an option, euthanasia is mandatory.

Last full review/revision March 2012 by Stephen B. Adams, DVM, MS, DACVS; Joerg A. Auer, DrMedVet, Dr h c, MS, DACVS, DECVS; James K. Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS; Jane C. Boswell, MA, VetMB, CertVA, CertES (Orth), DECVS, MRCVS; Peter Clegg, MA, Vet MB, PhD, CertEO, DECVS, MRCVS; Andrew L. Crawford, BVetMed, CertES (Orth), MRCVS; Jean-Marie Denoix, DVM, PhD, Agregé; Marcus J. Head, BVetMed, MRCVS; C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, DACVS, DACVSMR; James Schumacher, DVM, MS, DACVS, MRCVS; John Schumacher, DVM, MS, DACVIM; Roger K. W. Smith, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, DECVS, MRCVS; Chris Whitton, BVSc, FACVSc, PhD

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