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Osteoarthritis in Horses (Carpus and Metacarpus)


In the carpus, osteoarthritis typically appears with chronic thickening of the joint, usually associated with capsular fibrosis. There is a decreased range of motion and sometimes a history of treatment of an acute problem. Radiographic changes develop slowly, and usually the degree of articular cartilage compromise is severe. Cases that can possibly lead to osteoarthritis should be treated aggressively and correctly. Treatment of severe osteoarthritis is largely palliative, but debridement and lavage, followed by intra-articular and systemic therapy, may help. (Also see Osteoarthritis.)

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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