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Bone marrow lesions of the distal condyles of the third metacarpal bone are common and not always related to lameness in sports and pleasure horses
- De Guio, Cécile, Ségard‐Weisse, Emilie, Thomas‐Cancian, Aurélie, Schramme, Michael
- Veterinary radiology & ultrasound 2019 v.60 no.2 pp. 167-175
- analgesia, bone marrow, forelimbs, horses, lameness, magnetic resonance imaging, metacarpus, observational studies, pain, sports
- The metacarpophalangeal joint is a common site of pain in horses. Little information is available about bone marrow lesions in the distal condyles of the third metacarpal bone in sports and pleasure horses. Aims of this prospective, retrospective, observational study were to evaluate the prevalence of bone marrow lesions in the distal condyles of the third metacarpal bone, to describe their anatomic distribution and to correlate lesions with the presence of lameness and the level and type of activity. All sports and pleasure horses undergoing standing low‐field MRI of the front fetlock region between 2009 and 2016 were included and divided into three lameness groups according to the results of diagnostic analgesia. Bone marrow lesions were analyzed and graded by one reader. Grades were compared between anatomical locations and between lameness groups. A total of 166 horses were sampled. The prevalence of bone marrow lesions was 76.5% (127/166). The dorsal aspects of the medial condyle (31%, 39/127) and of the sagittal ridge (28%, 36/127) were the most commonly affected locations. There was no significant difference between both forelimbs (lame limb and non‐lame limb) of the same horse. Lesion severity was neither significantly associated with the lameness group nor with the type or level of activity. The prevalence of bone marrow lesions in the distal condyles of the third metacarpal bone is high in this population and the clinical significance is not always clear. Further studies are required to elucidate the clinical significance of this finding in sports and pleasure horses.