Osteomyelitis of the axial border of the proximal sesamoid bones in seven horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • Destructive lesions of the axial region of the proximal sesamoid bones were identified by radiography in eight fetlocks and seven lame adult horses. Lameness ranged from 2 to 5 (mean 4; scale 1 to 5) at the time of examination, with a duration of 10 days to two years (mean 5.6 months). Destructive lesions involved both proximal sesamoid bones when examined radiographically and were situated primarily at the level of the mid-body and apical region of the axial borders. Some lesions were cystic, whereas others eroded the axial border more diffusely. Scintigraphy revealed markedly increased activity within the proximal sesamoid bones of the clinically lame limb of four of the five horses examined. In four horses, post mortem computed tomography revealed axial border bone destruction and cavitary lesions within cancellous bone of affected proximal sesamoid bones. Lesions seen by computed tomography were larger than those identified on radiographic examination. Cavitary lesions not seen radiographically were identified in the proximal sesamoid bones of two clinically unaffected fetlocks examined for comparison in two of the seven horses. Evidence of acute, subacute or chronic/reparative osteomyelitis of the axial region of the proximal sesamoid bones was seen in the 10 fetlocks identified as abnormal from radiography or computed tomography. Also, three horses had septic synovitis of the flexor sheath of the clinically affected limb; of these, two had septic arthritis of the fetlock joint.

published proceedings

  • Equine Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Wisner, E. R., O'Brien, T. R., Pool, R. R., Pascoe, J. R., Koblick, P. D., Hornoff, W. J., & Poulos, P. W.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Wisner, ER||O'Brien, TR||Pool, RR||Pascoe, JR||Koblick, PD||Hornoff, WJ||Poulos, PW

publication date

  • September 1991