Objective—To determine the detailed computed tomography (CT) anatomy of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint in healthy horses.
Sample Population—10 cadaveric forelimbs from 10 adult horses without orthopedic disease.
Procedures—CT of the MCP joint was performed on 4 forelimbs. In 1 of the limbs, CT was also performed after intra-articular injection of 30 mL of contrast medium (40 mg of iodine/mL). Transverse slices 1-mm thick were obtained, and sagittal and dorsal planes were reformatted with a slice thickness of 2 mm. The CT images were matched with corresponding anatomic slices from 6 additional forelimbs.
Results—The third metacarpal bone, proximal sesamoid bones, and proximal phalanx could be clearly visualized. Common digital extensor tendon; accessory digital extensor tendon; lateral digital extensor tendon; superficial digital flexor tendon (including manica flexoria); deep digital flexor tendon; branches of the suspensory ligament (including its attachment); extensor branches of the suspensory ligament; collateral ligaments; straight, oblique, and cruciate distal sesamoidean ligaments; intersesamoidean ligament; annular ligament; and joint capsule could be seen. Collateral sesamoidean ligaments and short distal sesamoidean ligaments could be localized but not at all times clearly identified, whereas the metacarpointersesamoidean ligament could not be identified. The cartilage of the MCP joint could be assessed on the postcontrast sequence.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CT of the equine MCP joint can be of great value when results of radiography and ultrasonography are inconclusive. Images obtained in this study may serve as reference for CT of the equine MCP joint.