The paracondylar process is a relatively long and flat bony process belonging to the occiput. It is located on the lateral side of the temporomandibular joint. Cranial to the base of the paracondylar process lies the stylomastoid foramen, from where the facial nerve emerges from the skull. Different muscles insert on the paracondylar process.
Strangulation of the upper neck from the horse pulling back after its halter had been trapped is a typical cause for the fracture of the paracondylar process.
Paracondylar process: Clinical signs
The horse may be presented with facial nerve paralysis, headshaking, increased resistance to be ridden and hypersensitivity to palpation dorsal to the wing of the atlas.
Paracondylar process: Imaging
Only on an oblique lateral view with the head in extension can the distal part of the paracondylar process be observed.