Authors of section


Anton Fürst, Wayne McIlwraith, Dean Richardson

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Lateral condyle displaced fractures

Fracture occurence and clinical signs

Displaced lateral condylar fractures are exclusively seen in race horses. They can occur during training or racing.

Physical signs are marked joint effusion, moderate to severe lameness and often swelling on the distal lateral metacarpus/metatarsus.
Horses are very painful to manipulation of the metacarpo/metatarsophalangeal joint. The degree of lameness is not necessarily associated with the degree of displacement.

Displaced lateral condylar fracture

Fracture configuration

Generally, the fractures tend to develop in the same location of the lateral condyle, several mm lateral to the sagittal ridge, but the height of the fracture can be quite variable.

Displaced lateral condylar fracture


A full set of metacarpo/metatarsophalangeal joint radiographs should be taken as well as the tangential view silhouetting the distal palmar/plantar third metacarpal/metatarsal bone. The fracture is easily identified on the straight dorsopalmar/plantar projection, but the additional view is necessary to adequately evaluate the joint.

Tangential view

Additional considerations

Recognition of comminution along the distal palmar/plantar margin of the bone is important in giving a preoperative prognosis.