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Flexural Limb Deformity and Contracted Tendons in Foals and Horses
When newborns stand up for the first time, their legs are wobbly, the ligaments lax, and the tendons a little too short or too long. This is normal and results in odd leg angles and stances. These normal variations should not interfere with the foal getting up and moving around and almost immediately start self correcting so that by the third day the legs are well on their way to normal. The time for concern is when the abnormalities are so bad that they prevent the foal from standing and getting around well or when the malformations do not correct rapidly. Different terms have been used including flexural laxity, contracted tendons, and over at the knees or pasterns. Severe cases of bilateral flexural and angular joint laxity may be termed "wind swept". Rupture of the common digital extensor is a special case of over at the knees. Mild deep digital flexor contracture may result in a club foot. This article discusses the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of these conditions.
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~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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