Authors of section


Jörg Auer, Larry Bramlage, Patricia Hogan, Alan Ruggles, Jeffrey Watkins

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Middle phalanx: Dorsal subluxation


Dorsal subluxation is a poorly defined syndrome likely a result of injury to the palmar/plantar support structures of the pastern region.


Dorsal subluxations are usually evidenced by malalignment visible from the side as an enlargement of the dorsal pastern region. These horses may or may not present with lameness and in some cases, the subluxation may be of intermittent nature.
All breeds can be affected.


Complete radiographic evaluation is indicated, but the most important view is the lateral to medial projection, which reveals the malalignment.


General considerations - Fractures of the middle phalanx

Degenerative disease of the proximal interphalangeal joint as well as fractures of the middle phalanx are seen in most breeds of horses. However horses engaged in western performance activities seem predisposed to injuries involving the proximal interphalangeal joint, especially fractures of the middle phalanx, likely due to the bending and torsional forces generated during abrupt stops and changes in direction.
Click here to read more about causes and diagnosis of these injuries.

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