If you cannot see images at all on my site click here for an explanation
Medical Index
Farrier Wisdom
First Posted: Feb 19, 2010
Nov 3, 2012

Palmar Foot/Heel Pain in Horses


What is Palmar Foot in horses? You will often hear horse people say that their horse suffers from heel problems. That is a beginning. Palmar foot pain is a modern term for navicular syndrome. Smaller Endoscopes Lead to Less Invasive Treatments for Navicular. The following is a quote from an article written by Tracy A. Turner, DVM,MS, Dipl. ACVS. Follow the link to read the rest of the article. It is copyrighted so I did not want to show the article in its entirety. The first two paragraphs of the article are quoted below with a link to read the remainder of the article.

Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN 55108

"The palmar digital nerve block desensitizes the palmar one-third to one-half of the foot. Lameness localized to this region accounts for more than one-third of all chronic lameness in the horse. It must be understood that a palmar digital nerve block simply localizes the source of the pain the horse perceives to the back of the foot. It is important to identify as specifically as possible, the pathological and clinical findings. This in turn will help the clinician make their best assessment of the problem, and recommend the most specific treatment.

There are numerous causes of pain in the palmar aspect of the foot of the horse. These causes can be arbitrarily divided into conditions of the hoof wall and horn producing tissues, conditions of the third phalanx, and conditions of the podotrochlear region. Hoof problems would include hoof wall defects, such as cracks or clefts that involve the sensitive tissue; any laminar tearing, separation or inflammation; contusions of the hoof causing bruising or corn formation; abscess formation; and pododermatitis (thrush or canker). Third phalanx lameness' blocked out by palmar digital anesthesia would include wing fractures, marginal fractures, solar fractures, or deep digital flexor insertional tenopathy. Conditions of the podotrochlear region have been reported to include distal interphalangeal synovitis, deep digital flexor tendonitis, desmitis of the impar (distal navicular ligament) or collateral sesamoidean ligaments, navicular osteitis or osteopathy, and vascular disease. The common denominator of all these conditions is that they are characterized by pain that can be localized to the caudal aspect of the hoof..."

To continue reading this excellent article on Palmar Foot pain please follow this link: DIAGNOSIS OF PALMAR FOOT PAIN, Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS

Hoof Conformation and Palmar Process Fractures of the Distal Phalanx in Warmblood Foals

Adrienne S. Bhatnagar BSa, , R. Scott Pleasant DVM, MS, DACVSb, John J. Dascanio VMD, DABVP, DACTb, Stephanie R. Lewis BVScb, A. Grey DVMb, Olivia E. Schroeder VMDb, Kristine Doyle MSa, Jake Hall BSb and Rebecca K. Splan MS, PhDa
a Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
b Department of Large Animal Clinic Sciences, Phase II Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, Blacksburg, VA

This study evaluated onset and incidence of palmar process fractures in foals and investigated corresponding changes in hoof conformation. Radiographs of 17 warmblood foals were taken at 1 week and at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 months of age and examined for evidence of palmar process fractures. Hoof parameters were measured from the radiographs, and comparisons were made between fractured and nonfractured feet. All foals suffered at least one fracture during the study period, with an average age of 3.68 ± 0.20 months at fracture occurrence. Hoof conformation and fracture occurrence were not significantly correlated. Foals consistently demonstrated higher lateral heights in the right foot and higher medial heights in the left foot. Hoof angle increased until 3 months of age and then gradually dropped. Hoof-pastern axis exhibited a broken forward conformation, but approached a more correct conformation by 12 months of age. There was a significant reduction in variation of variables for hoof and pastern angle in both feet, and hoof-pastern axis in the right foot. Hoof conformation does not appear to be a causative factor of palmar process fractures. It is possible that these fractures are a normal part of bone remodeling.

For More Information:

Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis of Palmar Foot Pain/Therapeutic Farriery
Using Self-Adjusting Palmar Angles to Treat Heel Pain
Function of the Palmar Foot

Medical Index
Farrier Wisdom