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Tendon and ligament injuries

A horse's legs have several important ligaments and tendons located on the front (anterior), back (posterior), inside (medial) and outside (lateral) aspects of the forelimbs and the hindlimbs.

A tendon is the fibrous cord of connective tissue that attaches the muscle to a bone or other structure, while a ligament is a band of fibrous tissue that connects bones or cartilage, supporting and strengthening joints.

The tendons and ligaments are critical structures for support during normal weight-bearing and for movement, but they have little or no overlying tissue to help keep them protected from injury. As a result, tendon and ligament injuries are quite common.

"Desmitis" refers to inflammation of a ligament whereas "tendinitis" refers to a tendon. Some forms of tendinitis are referred to as ‘bowed tendons’. Ruptures and lacerations of these tissues can also occur.

Depending on the severity and type of injury, and the particular tendon or ligament affected, there can be serious consequences for your horse. Injuries like these may affect your horse's ability to return to normal life or work.

If you notice any signs of lameness in your horse, contact your vet for a thorough assessment and treatment.