A swollen hock after being turned out?!
The hock is a frequent area of injury. The collateral ligaments of the hock can be injured following a trauma or a fall . What are they? How to treat a ruptured ligament?
This is the story of Enzo.
Enzo was turned out in the morning. Back in the stable in the evening, his hind leg showed to be swollen. With rest and anti-inflammatory drugs, most of the swelling disappeared but his hock was still swollen. Enzo was only slightly lame but bending the hock was very painful.
The verdict: a torn ligament!
The hock is a common area of injury in horses. Several structures of this region can be affected. The collateral ligaments are some of those.
There are four collateral ligaments in the equine hock, two on each side of the joint.
Collateral ligaments injury is often the result of a trauma or a fall. Lameness varies from mild to severe and it is often accompanied by swelling of the affected region. Ultrasound examination is used to identify the injured ligament.
The healing of torn ligaments can be a long and difficult process due to the limited vascularisation of these structures. The treatment of choice is arthroscopic debridement of the torn fibers under general anesthesia.
In the following images you can see the case of Enzo with a severe lesion of the short medial collateral ligament treated by arthroscopy. The surgery was successfully performed, and the horse is now ready for his period of rehabilitation.
Injury of the collateral ligaments of the hock, to remember:
- – The hock is a frequent area of injury
- – The collateral ligaments of the hock can be injured following a trauma or a fall
- – Diagnosis can be performed by ultrasound
- – Arthroscopic debridement under general anesthesia is the treatment of choice and provide the best outcome.
The hock of your horse is swollen?
Would you like more information about arthroscopic surgery of collateral ligaments?
Contact our expert orthopedic surgeons
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