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  • Author or Editor: Michaël Dancot x
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To describe type and distribution of tarsal collateral ligament (CL) injuries and to assess the long-term outcome in horses treated conservatively.


78 horses (median age, 7 years [IQR, 4 to 9.75 years]) of different breeds and disciplines.


Retrospective analysis (2000 through 2020) of horses with tarsal CL lesions diagnosed on ultrasound. The resting time, ability to return to work, and performance level after the injury were compared between horses having a single ligament (group S) or multiple ligaments (group M) affected and according to the case severity.


Most of the horses (57/78) presented a single CL injury, while 21 had multiple CLs affected simultaneously, for a total of 108 CLs injured and 111 lesions. In both groups, the short lateral CL (SLCL) was the most commonly affected (44/108), followed by the long medial CL (LMCL; 27/108). Enthesopathies (72.1%) were more frequent than desmopathies alone (27.9%) and involved mostly the proximal insertion of the SLCL and the distal attachment of the LMCL. Conservative treatment (n = 62) consisted mainly of stall rest. The median resting time (120 days [IQR, 60 to 180 days]) did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (group S vs M) or according to the severity. Most horses (50/62) were able to return to work within 6 months. Horses that did not return (12/62) were more likely to have severe lesions (P = .01). Thirty-eight horses were able to perform at a level equal to or higher than before the injury.


This study highlights the importance of thorough ultrasound assessment of tarsal CL injuries and demonstrates that conservative management is a viable option to allow these horses to return to previous performance level.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association