Can distal border fragments of the navicular bone be a primary cause of lameness?




A horse with unilateral forelimb lameness and pain localised to the palmar aspect of the foot was evaluated using radiography and low field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. A distal border fragment of the navicular bone, an osseous cyst-like lesion (OCLL) in the distal third of the navicular bone and focal distal sesamoidean impar desmitis were identified as the most likely causes of pain and lameness. No other lesions likely to contribute to pain and lameness were identified on MR images or gross post mortem examination. The OCLL was characterised histologically by enlarged bone lacunae containing proliferative fibrovascular tissue. Focal lesions of the distal aspect of the navicular bone are rarely found in isolation but can be causes of pain and lameness in horses.