Lesions of the lateral trochlear ridge (LTR) of the distal femur were investigated in four pony or pony cross horses. The animals were all geldings and were six to 15 months of age. Lesions were bilateral in three ponies and unilateral in one. Femoropatellar joint effusion and lameness were present in two ponies; clinical signs were absent in the others. The proximal LTR was affected in all four animals. The radiographic appearance of the lesions was a subchondral defect containing mineralised bodies. Arthroscopic and postmortem examination findings included an osteochondral flap, a fissured or irregular articular surface and a smooth surface overlying focally thickened cartilage that extended into subchondral bone. Thickened articular cartilage was a histological feature of all the lesions. Among the other histological features, the most common were chondronecrosis, chondrocyte clusters, phenotypically abnormal chondrocytes, horizontal fissures at the osteochondral junction and retained blood vessels. The signalment of the four ponies, their clinical signs and the pathological features of their lesions were consistent with osteochondrosis of the LTR in horses. The use of multiple criteria was considered to be important in making a specific diagnosis.
- British Veterinary Association
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