What is it
Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the 2 sesamoid bones at the back of the fetlock joint, it is painful. They act as pulleys for the flexor tendons that pass over them and provide attachment for the suspensory ligament. See my blog about the foreleg here.
- Heat in fetlock
- Swelling at back of fetlock
- Lameness which can worsen when working on hard surfaces
- Pain if pressure put on area or fetlock bent
- May step short
The constant pressure from the ligaments pulling can aggravate the bone surface. This then causes inflammation . Long or sloping pasterns can make a horse more likely to suffer. Fast work can cause extra stress on the fetlock causing more stress to the sesamoid bones eg: racing, jumping and hunting.
X-rays will show changes to the vascular channels and soft tissue around the bones.
Rest and immobilisation. Recovery is likely to take several months. Treating with hot and cold therapies and the pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs. Work should be re-introduced slowly and correct shoeing is vital. The toe can be rolled to ease the breakover point and thus reducing the strain.
Correct and regular shoeing can help reduce the chance of sesamoidits. Ensuring undue strain is not put on the fetlock. Choosing a horse with the right type of conformation for your chosen sport!
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