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Subluxation of the elbow

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  • Subluxation of the elbow

    I don't know what else to call it!

    During grooming, I noticed that the mares right elbow looked wrong. I compared her left, came back around to the right and when I did so she shifted her weight- and it appeared as if her elbow shifted up and in, like back into joint.

    She's sound and it doesn't appear to be hurting her; but it got me thinking- she's had a couple of minor tripping episodes, and a few times I have felt something 'pop' when doing a small circle or lateral work. This has been over the course of almost two years, and she's had several other issues we've been working out, so these things were explained away. She is 20. I now have myself convinced that her elbow is chronically popping in and out of joint.

    The vet is coming out next week, but in the meantime I can't find any sign of anyone else experiencing this. Is there a name for this condition that I should be searching for? Any personal experience with such a thing?

    This horse is going to be the death of me and she isn't even mine. One problem after another. She's hot and loves to work; retirement or another round of stall rest would be incredibly difficult. *Please excuse post-query pessimistic whining*
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

  • #2
    Ya got me!

    If it were mine I'd have it examined, specifically x-rayed. See if you can find a good equine chiro to consult.

    There is a picture of the joint on this PDF (and the English portion of the text is useful):

    http://www.scielo.br/pdf/cr/v36n6/a22v36n6.pdf

    As you can see, it's strapped together very well.

    Bizarre.
    HR/MPL Clique

    "I am villifying you - for God's sake, pay attention!" - Peter O'Toole as Henry II, The Lion in Winter

    Comment


    • #3
      I think if an elbow really were subluxed, the horse wouldn't be able to walk properly.

      There isn't any joint for it to go back into - it itself is a joint, a fairly free-ranging one. Here's a good skeletal diagram of the horse
      http://www.wingspanartsintl.com/Skel...rt_Wingsp.html

      Elbows have a really amazing range of motion, both forward and back, in and out, AND up and down. Well, not the elbow all by itself but the associated structures allow the elbow the ability to move all those ways.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JB View Post
        I think if an elbow really were subluxed, the horse wouldn't be able to walk properly.

        There isn't any joint for it to go back into - it itself is a joint, a fairly free-ranging one. Here's a good skeletal diagram of the horse
        http://www.wingspanartsintl.com/Skel...rt_Wingsp.html

        Elbows have a really amazing range of motion, both forward and back, in and out, AND up and down. Well, not the elbow all by itself but the associated structures allow the elbow the ability to move all those ways.
        Agreed...the elbow often can look 'out of joint', depending on how the horse is standing....ie: Toes turned in or out

        I have a now 11 yr old mare who fractured her elbow when she was 3. She was Dead Lame, as in non-weight bearing.

        If your mare had an out of joint elbow she'd be very lame and unable to bear much, if any, weight.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks guys. She's got a couple of other issues that no one's ever seen, so this wouldn't be out of character.

          The image of the joint is very interesting.

          I also couldn't figure out how it could be popping out and in, but- what else to call it? I'm wondering if the ligaments are... messed up. Stretched, stretching, torn... but it would seem she'd be in some pain then.

          When I noticed this initially on the cross ties, her fronts were perfectly square but she was resting the hind left. The toe and knee were perfectly straight. The elbow was really "out", almost as if pointing right- "Hey, look over there!"- and down. It was realllllly strange. I've seen some impressive range of motion in the joints of moving horses, but never so much from one standing perfectly still!
          bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
          free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually, if you look at the link JB posted, you'll see that the point of the elbow isn't actually the elbow as in humans, it's the olecranon. It's the lever that extends caudally from the dorsal radius. So that would jive with Mallard, ie toes pointed in, "elbow" pointed out.
            HR/MPL Clique

            "I am villifying you - for God's sake, pay attention!" - Peter O'Toole as Henry II, The Lion in Winter

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