Reasons for performing study: Osseous abnormalities associated with collateral ligament (CL) injury of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint have been documented using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) but there is currently limited information about the frequency of osseous pathology associated with CL injury.
Objectives: To determine the frequency of occurrence of osseous abnormality coexistent with CL injury of the DIP joint and describe the distribution and character of osseous lesions; and to establish if there was an association between osseous abnormality and increased radiopharmaceutical uptake (IRU).
Hypotheses: There would be a higher incidence of osseous abnormality at the insertion of an injured CL than at the origin; and a relationship between the presence of osseous abnormality and duration of lameness.
Materials and methods: Magnetic resonance images of 313 feet of 289 horses with foot pain and a definitive diagnosis of collateral desmopathy of the DIP joint were analysed retrospectively for presence and type of osseous abnormality in the middle and distal phalanges. Scintigraphic images were examined and the presence of IRU in the middle or distal phalanges recorded.
Results: Osseous abnormalities were detected in 143 (45.7%) feet, 27 (18.8%) of which had osseous and CL injury alone, while the remaining 116 had CL related osseous injury and multiple injuries within the hoof capsule. Entheseous new bone and endosteal irregularity of the middle and distal phalanges were the most frequent types of osseous abnormality. There was a higher incidence of osseous abnormalities medially than laterally and at the ligament insertion than at the origin. There was a significant association between presence of IRU and osseous injury.
Conclusions: A variety of osseous lesions of differing severity are associated with CL injury. Normal radiopharmaceutical uptake does not preclude significant osseous pathology associated with CL injury.
Clinical relevance: Further studies are necessary in order to determine if osseous abnormalities associated with CL injury influence prognosis for return to performance.