Inside the stifle: explaining injuries in horses within this joint *H&H Plus*

  • How significant are soft tissue injuries within this complex joint? Matt Smith MRCVS explains

    THE stifle is a hard-working joint with a large range of motion, which connects the horse’s thigh and crus (lower limb) regions.

    It actually comprises two joints. The femoropatellar joint is located at the front of the stifle, between the ridges at the bottom of the femur and the patellar (the equivalent of our kneecap). The femorotibial joint sits between the bottom of the femur and the top of the tibia, and is divided into medial (inside) and lateral (outside) compartments.

    Unlike in most joints, where the opposing cartilage surfaces fit into each other to create a smooth, gliding surface, the femorotibial joint features smooth discs of tissue called menisci, which sit between the ball-shaped ends of the femur and the plateau at the top of the tibia.

    This feature is also available to read in this Thursday’s H&H magazine (1 April, 2021)

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