Acta Vet. Brno 2017, 86: 123-131

Insight into the pathomorphology of the distal border of the equine navicular bone

Martyna Frątczak1, Jan Włodarek2, Hieronim Frąckowiak1, Marcin Komosa1

1Poznan University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Department of Animal Anatomy, Poznan, Poland
2Poznan University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Poznan, Poland

Received November 14, 2016
Accepted May 31, 2017

Pathological changes of the equine navicular bone are found in a variety of forms in numerous old and also relatively young horses. Therefore, investigations on this small bone are of major practical significance. The current article presents a view of the alterations observed on the distal aspect of the bone and analyzes their origin and importance. As a result of pressure subjected by the deep digital flexor tendon and adaptive remodelling of the bone tissue, distal border of the navicular bone extends and becomes sharpened. Osseous distal border fragments may be a consequence of this phenomenon. However, the origin of fragments is also associated with the development of entheseophytes on the margins, which can result from stress induced by the distal impar sesamoid ligament. The authors are not unanimous about the clinical importance of fragments, but it seems that the most dangerous are large-sized ones, especially when occurring together with other lesions. An important issue is also the alterations of the nutrient foramina located on the distal border, due to the main role of this surface in blood supply. Changes in the size and shape of pathological synovial invaginations can be a sign of circulatory disturbances and abnormal turnover of the bone tissue. Some researchers link synovial invaginations to cases of lameness, but their importance is still enigmatic. Majority of studies focus on warmblood horses, and a lower interest in coldblood horses can be seen. Nonetheless, certain data are a strong argument that the breed and morphotype can affect the frequency of adverse changes.


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