Equine podiatry

Navicular syndrome cases

Develop a case around the scenarios below. Try this on your own first and then use the articles to check your story and fill in gaps

1. A horse with damage to the collateral ligament of the coffin joint due to medial-lateral imbalance

2. A horse with coffin joint synovitis due to a mild club foot conformation (similar conformation bilaterally)

3. A horse with a vertical split in the deep digital flexor tendon at the level of the navicular bone (and some damage in the other limb, same area)

4. A horse with a fracture of the palmar process of P3 in one foot


What is the signalment ?

Quarter horse types are more prone to navicular syndrome but other breeds can be affected. Trauma may affect all breeds

Is it unilateral or bilateral?

How long as it been going on?

Has it been getting worse, better, staying the same or it varies?

How does it respond to phenylbutazone? Rest? Exercise?


What are you likely to find on physical examination?

Include hoof conformation, hoof tester responses, palpation results


What is the lameness like on a straight line? In a circle? Going the other way?


What happens if you do the various tests?  (wedge tests, flexion tests)


What happens if you do the various blocks (PDN block, coffin joint block, navicular bursal block, others)


Other diagnostics? Eg if you do a bone scan?



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.