• horse;
  • fetlock;
  • anatomy;
  • ultrasonography;
  • comparative imaging


This paper describes normal ultrasound images of the soft tissues of the dorsal and abaxial aspects of the equine fetlock. The palmar aspect of the fetlock is not discussed because it is related to the suspensory apparatus and flexor tendon anatomy which has been previously described. Ultrasound scanning was performed with 7.5 MHz linear or 10 MHz sector probes and recorded on 7.5 cm U-matic videocassettes allowing further retrospective data analysis, computer manipulation and good image reproducibility. Sagittal, parasagittal, frontal and transverse ultrasound scans of 13 lameness free mature horses were compared to anatomically dissected leg specimens, anatomical sections and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of isolated limbs. The results are focused on the comparison between anatomical sections and ultrasonograms performed on the legs of nonlame horses. Ultrasonography was demonstrated to be a very accurate imaging procedure for soft tissue structures at the dorsal and abaxial aspects of the equine fetlock. Under clinical conditions, a thorough knowledge of normal ultrasonographic anatomy is critical for an accurate diagnosis of fetlock soft tissue injury.