Necrosis of the femoral condyles in a four-week-old foal: Clinical, imaging and histopathological features



A 4-week-old Thoroughbred filly foal with a history of sepsis was evaluated for right hindlimb lameness. Bilateral femoropatellar and femorotibial joint effusions were detected. Ultrasonography and radiography of the right stifle revealed signs of joint collapse and periarticular swelling. Computed tomography revealed abnormalities in the bone density of the medial femoral condyle of the right hindlimb and lateral femoral condyle of the left hindlimb. Euthanasia was recommended based on the severity of the lesions. Gross and microscopic examinations revealed extensive separation of the articular-epiphyseal cartilage complex from the subchondral bone of the femoral condyles. The histological features suggest an ischaemic aetiology; comparisons are made with lesions of osteochondrosis and avascular necrosis of bone.