Hindlimb lameness associated with proximal suspensory desmopathy and injury of the accessory ligament of the suspensory ligament in five horses

Authors: 
S. Dyson
Volume: 
26
Number: 
10
Pages: 
538-542
Journal: 
Equine Veterinary Education
Date: 
October 2014

The accessory ligament of the hindlimb suspensory ligament arises from the plantar aspect of the calcaneus and fourth tarsal bones and blends with the suspensory ligament in the proximal aspect of the metatarsus. The accessory ligament of the suspensory ligament of both hindlimbs of 12 mature horses, with no history of hindlimb lameness, was assessed ultrasonographically. The ligament comprised linear parallel echoes which were consistently shorter than those of the lateral digital flexor tendon; the dorsal and plantar borders were parallel. Lameness associated with injury of the accessory ligament of the suspensory ligament was identified in 6 of 8 lame hindlimbs of 5 horses, unilaterally in 4 horses and bilaterally in one horse. In all horses there was concurrent proximal suspensory desmopathy. There was localised oedematous swelling on the distal medial aspect of the chestnut extending distally in 2 horses. Lameness was best identified when the horses were ridden. Perineural analgesia of the deep branch of the lateral plantar nerve abolished lameness in 3 horses but perineural analgesia of the tibial nerve was required to abolish lameness in the hindlimb with injury of the accessory ligament of the suspensory ligament in 2 horses. Injury of the accessory ligament of the suspensory ligament was characterised by marked decrease in echogenicity of the ligament and loss of parallel alignment of the linear echoes, which were shorter than normal in longitudinal images