Equis ISSN 2398-2977

DIP joint: flexural deformity

Synonym(s): Contracted tendon, club foot

Contributor(s): Steve Adair, Helen Herinckx, Chris Whitton

Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Relative shortening of the deep digital flexor tendon   Forelimb: flexural deformity 02 - fibrotic myopathy  relative to longitudinal limb growth; also known as contracture of coronopedal joint and club foot.
    • Usually seen in foals 2-8 months old, occasionally in newborn associated with multiple joint defects.
    • Congenital flexure of the coffin joint may occur when only the deep digital flexor is involved.
  • Signs: flexural deformity   Musculoskeletal: flexural deformity  of the distal interphalangeal joint; 'club foot'; weightbearing on toe or excessive wear of toe.
  • Diagnosis: physical examination; radiography.
  • Treatment: conservative, surgery.
  • Prognosis: good to guarded depending on severity.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Flexural limb deformities to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Growth
  • Young growing foals.
  • Excess energy/protein intake and/or imbalanced calcium/phosphorus, also copper deficiencies and zinc excess, and high protein diets   →   excessively rapid or imbalanced growth   Foot: flexural deformity 05  .

Trauma

Other causes

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Mechanical Stress.
  • Mineral imbalance.
  • Endocrine factors.
  • Site vulnerability - osteochondrosis occurs at specific sites.
  • Exercise - primary limited exercise.

Predisposing factors

General
  • High plane of nutrition or mare good milk producer.
  • Exercise may have been limited in preparation for showing.
  • As for DIP joint flexural deformity in congenital cases   DIP joint: flexural deformity - congenital - toe-extension shoe  .

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Stephenson R (2003) Treatment of a case of severe flexural deformity in a 13-week-old foal. UK Vet (7), 11-15.
  • Munroe G A (1996) Congenital flexural deformities of the foal. Equine Vet Educ (2), 92-96 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Auer J A (1992) Flexural deformities. In: Equine Surgery. Ed: J A Auer. W B Saunders Co, USA. pp 957-971.


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