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Equine Practice
Diagnosis and treatment of equine osteochondrosis
  1. Ian Wright

    Ian Wright graduated from Cambridge in 1979. He is a partner with Greenwood, Ellis and Partners, in Newmarket, where he runs an equine surgical referral service. He holds the RCVS diploma in equine orthopaedics and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgery. He is an RCVS specialist in equine surgery.

  2. Gaynor Minshall

    Gaynor Minshall graduated from Bristol in 1998. After completing an internship at Liphook Equine Hospital, in Hampshire, she spent a period in firstopinion practice before joining Reynolds House Referrals, a division of Greenwood, Ellis and Partners, in 2002.


IN veterinary medicine, osteochondrosis is generally considered to be due to delayed or defective endochondral ossification. However, defining cellular or biochemical lesions have not been recognised or agreed and there is still much debate regarding the range of lesions that may be manifestations of osteochondrosis. As there is no aetiological or pathogenetic consensus, it is suggested that, for the time being, osteochondrosis should be considered as a syndrome that includes all non-external trauma-related aseptic lesions occurring at sites of, and during the process of, endochondral ossification. The principal sites of endochondral ossification are the metaphyseal growth plates and epiphyses of long bones and within the cuboidal bones. This article discusses the diagnosis and treatment of osteochondrosis affecting long bone epiphyses (ie, articular osteochondrosis), which, clinically, are the most important sites of osteochondrosis in horses.

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