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Mammals (other)
Sidewinder syndrome associated with partial rupture of the ligamentum capitis ossis femoris


A 25-year-old Welsh Cob stallion was presented with a sudden onset of abnormal hind limb gait. Being led at walk on a straight line, the hindquarters were shifted to the right and the horse was walking on three tracks. Treatment with corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was attempted but ineffective and eventually the horse was euthanased. Postmortem examination of the coxofemoral joints revealed a bilateral degeneration of the articular cartilage of both the acetabulum and the femoral head, as well as a partial rupture of the left ligamentum capitis ossis femoris. Histological examination of this ligament showed collagen fibre fragmentation, increased proteoglycan and cellular infiltrates. The irreversible clinical signs were compatible with so-called ‘sidewinder syndrome’ and ‘crabwalking’ to the right and were associated with partial rupture of the left ligamentum capitis ossis femoris and bilateral degenerative joint disease of the coxofemoral joint, but the exact aetiology remains unknown.

  • horses
  • sidewinder syndrome
  • trendelenburg gait
  • ligamentum capitis ossis femoris

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