Restriction of free movement of the flexor tendons through the fetlock canal results in lameness. The commonest cause was chronic synovitis of the digital sheath. The condition is characterised by an unremitting lameness, synovial distension and a notch on the caudal aspect of the limb. The condition can be relieved by section of the annular ligament of the fetlock. In a series of 24 cases 16 horses returned to work with no recurrence of lameness, three cases were lost to follow up and five animals remained lame; three of these had intercurrent disease.