Navicular syndrome is a complex of degenerative processes arising from many types of injury to structures in the heel area of the foot. Although classically presenting as a chronic forelimb lameness, the clinical signs of horses with navicular syndrome can vary widely, leading to difficulties in making a definitive diagnosis. The recent increase in availability of advanced imaging techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging has not only improved our understanding of the disease, but also our ability to localise lesions within the foot that may not be evident on radiographs. Due to the multiple aetiologies that may contribute to any one case, treatment and management of the condition is rarely straightforward and often requires a combination of strategies. This article reviews the current concepts of navicular syndrome and outlines a practical approach to its diagnosis and management.
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