Jump to: navigation, search

Fetlock

File:TrimmedLeg.jpg
Fetlock joint: the joint between the cannon bone and the pastern.

Fetlock is the common name for the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints (MCPJ and MTPJ) of horses, large animals, and sometimes dogs. It is formed by the junction of the third metacarpal (forelimb) or metatarsal (hindlimb) bones (common name: the cannon bones) proximad and the proximal phalanx distad (common name: the pastern bone). Paired proximal sesamoid bones articulate with the palmar or plantar distal surface of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bones and are rigidly fixed to the proximo-palmar / -plantar edge of the proximal phalanx.

The fetlock is a hinge joint (ginglymus), allowing flexion and extension, but minimal rotation, adduction, or abduction.

While sometimes the fetlock is colloquially referred to as an "ankle," even by horse experts, that terminology is not correct. The fetlock actually is a metacarpophalangeal joint which corresponds to the human upper knuckle, such as that on the ball of the foot.

Contents

Problems with the Fetlock

Etymology and related terminology

The word fetlock literally means "foot-lock" and originally referred to the small tuft of hair situated on the rear of the fetlock joint[1].

"Feather" refers to the particularly long, luxuriant hair growth over the lower leg and fetlock that is characteristic of certain breeds.

See also

References

  1. Merriam-Webster: fetlock
  • Dyce KM, Sack WO, Wensing CJG. Textbook of Veterinary Anatomy (2nd Ed.) W.B. Saunders, 1996, p591



Share

Premier Equine Classifieds

Subscribe

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...


The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...


Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...


That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...