Jump to section
The fibularis tendon is a part of the reciprocal apparatus of the hind limb, which is a series of tendons that coordinates the simultaneous flexion of the hock and stifle joints. This coordination enables the successful movement of the leg. A healthy fibularis tendon will stretch as the hock joint extends, and serves to help center the weight of the upper part of the limb on the hock. Once damaged, the tendon can no longer do its part and movement becomes compromised. If a laceration is the cause, other important structures of that region can also be damaged, which can complicate healing.
The fibularis (peroneus) tertius is a tendon that originates on the femur and extends across the tibia to the metatarsal region in the hind limbs of horses. A rupture of that tendon can be caused by a laceration or trauma, often due to an overextension of the hock joint. Though an uncommon condition, in severe cases, it can cause lameness. Many cases, however, can be resolved with treatment.
Despite the rupture, pain does not seem to be characteristic of this condition, and affected horses can still bear weight on the injured limb. Symptoms of a fibularis tendon rupture include:
The cause of a rupture in the fibularis tendon is a traumatic injury. This can occur from:
Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, which are characteristic of this particular injury. Manual extension of the hock joint is performed simultaneously with a flexion of the stifle to verify injury, a manipulation that is impossible with an uninjured tendon. The exact location of the rupture can be found through ultrasounds, X-rays, and through exploring a laceration.
Treatment follows a conservative course of stall rest for 3 to 4 months, depending on the results of the ultrasound and the severity of the injury. This can include hand-walking. During this time, scar tissue forms between the ends of the ruptured tendon. Function is eventually restored within 2 to 3 months, although it could take up to 12 months for maximum strength to return. After this period of rest, your horse should be turned out to pasture for an average of 12 weeks, and carefully reintroduced to exercise. Your horse should gradually return to his previous level of activity and performance.
Any lacerations or wounds present will also be treated appropriately. Evaluation of your horse’s healing can be made with an ultrasound to prevent a premature return to activity and exercise. A premature return can result in a re-injury of the tendon, which could lead to a severe case of lameness. If your horse does not overcome lameness after treatment, euthanization is often recommended.
Follow your veterinarian’s timeline for stall rest and the reintroduction of exercise to ensure your horse heals correctly. A successful return to athletic performance and resolution of symptoms often follows treatment, although performance horses are less likely to return to their intended activity. Factors that influence a successful and quick healing process include the location and degree of the rupture, as well as if there are any other tendon or muscle injuries involved, seen more often in cases of a laceration.
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
Rupture of the Fibularis (Penoneus) Tertius Average Cost
From 572 quotes ranging from $2,500 - $8,000
Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.
© 2021 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app