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Locking Stifles

Upward fixation of the patella and stifle dysfunction


Stifles; analogous to our human knee and prone to nearly as many problems.


One common one is upward fixation of the patella or “locking stifle”. Mild cases are sometimes referred to as “sticky stifles”.


Affected horses are typically clumsy, trip, trail their hind out, swap leads behind, and generally lack impulsion. In more serious cases the limb my give out, collapse, or get “stuck” in an extended position.


This happens when the medial patellar ligament becomes hooked or catches on the end of the femur.


Horses with stifle dysfunctions benefit from strengthening of the quadriceps muscles just like we do. This muscle group is incredibly important for stabilizing the joint.


Having a qualified bodyworker assess your horses muscle balance, remove restrictions, and help you make a plan to develop balanced hind end musculature can improve and support the stifles and protect the joint from future or further deterioration.


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