Characterisation of osseous bodies of the distal phalanx of foals. Academic Article uri icon


  • The distal phalanx and metacarpal physis of both forelimbs of 32 Thoroughbred foals 3-32 weeks of age were radiographed to identify those limbs with osseous bodies at a palmar process (PP) of the distal phalanx. Osseous bodies (ossicles) were identified radiographically in 19% of the foals. Sixteen of the 32 foals were selected for microradiographic and histological evaluation: 6 foals with radiographic evidence of ossicles and 10 foals without. Fourteen ossicles of the PP were observed radiographically. Ossicles were either a triangular bone fragment at the palmar aspect of the distal angle of the PP, or an oblong bone fragment separated from P3 by a radiolucent line extending 1-3 cm from the incisure of the PP to the solar margin. One foal had radiographic evidence of bilateral distal metacarpal physitis. Seventeen of 35 PPs examined microradiographically were considered normal, in that the dorsal and solar cortices were thin with trabecular bone orientated parallel to the cortical surfaces, and there was a depression in the dorsal cortical surface (i.e. parietal sulcus). Abnormal microradiographic findings in the other 18 PPs included a fracture line extending from the dorsal cortical surfaces and trabecular bridging of the fracture gap. The fracture line was often continuous with the parietal sulcus. Microradiographic evidence of a fracture was found in 75% of foals evaluated. Normal histological findings in 16 PPs included thin dorsal and solar cortices with trabeculae orientated parallel to the cortical surfaces, parallel-fibred dense connective tissue attachments of the deep digital flexor tendon to the solar cortical surfaces, and a neurovascular bundle associated with the parietal sulcus.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Equine Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Kaneps, A. J., O'Brien, T. R., Redden, R. F., Stover, S. M., & Pool, R. R.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Kaneps, AJ||O'Brien, TR||Redden, RF||Stover, SM||Pool, RR

publication date

  • July 1993