The Centrodistal Joint Interosseous Ligament Region in the Tarsus of the Horse

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The online library from Wiley.com has published the article “The centrodistal joint interosseous ligament region in the tarsus of the horse: normal appearance, abnormalities and possible association with other tarsal lesions, including osteoarthritis.” The researchers, including Sue Dyson, noted this in their conclusions: “There is an association between abnormalities of the centrodistal joint interosseous ligament region and osteoarthritis.”

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Summary

Reasons for Performing Study

There have been no detailed descriptions of the radiological appearance of the centrodistal joint interosseous ligament region in horses with and without distal tarsal joint pain.

Objectives

To describe the normal radiological appearance of the centrodistal joint interosseous ligament region; determine the prevalence of mineralisation or ossification of the interosseous ligament; describe radiological abnormalities surrounding the interosseous space and concurrent radiological abnormalities in the tarsus. The association between interosseous ligament region abnormalities and radiological evidence of osteoarthritis of the centrodistal joint was assessed.

Study design

Retrospective study.

Methods

Case records and radiographs of all horses/ponies (n = 700) which underwent radiographic examination of one/both tarsi over 7 years were reviewed. Signalment, height, bodyweight, and cause(s) of lameness were recorded. Factors associated with abnormalities of the centrodistal interosseous ligament region were assessed using logistic regression analysis.

Results

The normal interosseous space was an oval- or circular-shaped radiolucent area bordered proximally and distally by a rim of bone of uniform opacity and thickness, which varied in thickness among animals. Abnormalities of the interosseous ligament region of the lame(r) limb were evident in 121/700 (17.3%; 95% CI 14.5 – 20.1%) animals. Increasing bodyweight was associated with decreased odds of interosseous ligament region abnormalities. Forty-seven animals (6.7%; 95% CI 4.9 – 8.6%) had radiological evidence of osteoarthritis of the centrodistal joint. A greater proportion of animals with interosseous ligament region abnormalities (36.4%) had radiological evidence of osteoarthritis of the centrodistal joint, compared to those with normal interosseous ligament regions (0.5%) (p<0.001). Interosseous ligament region abnormalities and osteoarthritis of the centrodistal joint were not necessarily associated with distal tarsal joint pain.

Conclusions

There is an association between abnormalities of the centrodistal joint interosseous ligament region and osteoarthritis. Radiological evidence of abnormalities of the centrodistal intertarsal ligament region alone or in association with osteoarthritis may be present asymptomatically.

Authors

E. Skelly-Smith, J. Ireland and S. Dyson, Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Suffolk, UK.