Authors of section


Anton Fürst

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Unilateral fracture of the rostral part of the mandible


Fracture of the rostral part of the mandible may be unilateral.

Rostral fractures can occur when horses bite onto vertical metal bars in the stall; the horse bites the bar with its head in a slightly horizontal position and then suddenly pulls back after positioning its head vertically. Because of the relatively large total width of the lower incisors, they become wedged between the bars, resulting in alveolar fractures with rostral dislocation of the incisors.
Such fractures are more common in nervous or curious young horses.


Typically, the fracture line follow the line of the teeth roots. They can involve just one or multiple teeth.
Rostral fractures are the least stable fractures because the cheek teeth and muscles, which provide some stability, are lacking in this region.


A diagnosis is usually possible based on a clinical examination. A radiographic and/or endoscopic examination may be performed to rule out additional injuries.
These fractures often cause little pain and, if the dislocation is minimal, can be missed and left to heal without treatment.

Rostral fractures can occur uni or bilaterally.


Dental alveoli are usually involved in these fractures but the teeth themselves are rarely fractured.
If dental alveoli are involved, loss of one or more teeth can result either immediately during the traumatic event or later as a result of infection.

In some cases, the teeth roots are fractured (see examples). This requires additional examinations of the teeth at a later stage.