Hock (anatomy)

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The hock, or gambrel, is the joint between the tarsal bones and tibia of a digitigrade or unguligrade quadrupedal mammal, such as a horse, cat, or dog. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_0

This joint may include articulations between tarsal bones and the fibula in some species (such as cats), while in others the fibula has been greatly reduced and is only found as a vestigial remnant fused to the distal portion of the tibia (as in horses). Hock (anatomy)_sentence_1

It is the anatomical homologue of the ankle of the human foot. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_2

While homologous joints occur in other tetrapods, the term is generally restricted to mammals, particularly long-legged domesticated species. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_3

Horse Hock (anatomy)_section_0

Although the tarsus refers specifically to the bones and joints of the hock, most people working with horses refer to the hock in such a way to include the bones, joints, and soft tissue of the area. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_4

The hock is especially important in equine anatomy, due to the great strain it receives when the horse is worked. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_5

Jumping, and movements that require collection, are some of the more stressful activities. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_6

Primary joints and bones of the hock Hock (anatomy)_section_1

In the horse, the hock consists of multiple joints, namely: Hock (anatomy)_sentence_7

Hock (anatomy)_unordered_list_0

  • Tibiotarsal or tarsocrural jointHock (anatomy)_item_0_0
  • Proximal intertarsal joint or talocalcanealcentroquartal jointHock (anatomy)_item_0_1
  • Distal intertarsal joint or centrodistal jointHock (anatomy)_item_0_2
  • Tarsometatarsal jointHock (anatomy)_item_0_3
  • Talocalcaneal jointHock (anatomy)_item_0_4

In the horse, the hock consists of the following bones: Hock (anatomy)_sentence_8

Hock (anatomy)_unordered_list_1

  • TalusHock (anatomy)_item_1_5
  • CalcaneusHock (anatomy)_item_1_6
  • Central tarsal boneHock (anatomy)_item_1_7
  • 3rd tarsal boneHock (anatomy)_item_1_8
  • 3rd metatarsal boneHock (anatomy)_item_1_9
  • 4th tarsal boneHock (anatomy)_item_1_10
  • Fused 1st and 2nd tarsal boneHock (anatomy)_item_1_11
  • High BoneHock (anatomy)_item_1_12

Equine disease states Hock (anatomy)_section_2

Hock (anatomy)_unordered_list_2

  • Horses may suffer from "capped hock", which is caused by the creation of a false bursa, a synovial sac beneath the skin. Capped hock is usually caused by trauma such as kicking or slipping when attempting to stand. In the absence of a wound, it does not require immediate veterinary attention and is usually only of cosmetic significance. On the other hand, a wound into the calcanean bursa is a serious problem. A capped hock is extremely unlikely to be a cause of lameness, even if severe.Hock (anatomy)_item_2_13
  • Osteochondrosis dissecans, or OCD is a developmental defect in the cartilage or of cartilage and bone seen in particular locations on the surface of the tarsocrural joint. This condition is typically discovered when the horse is young, and is one cause of bog spavin. After surgery to remove bone and cartilage fragments most horses can return to full work.Hock (anatomy)_item_2_14
  • Distension of the tibiotarsal joint with excessive joint fluid and/or synovium is called bog spavin.Hock (anatomy)_item_2_15
  • Degenerative joint disease of the tarsometatarsal or distal intertarsal joint is referred to as bone spavin.Hock (anatomy)_item_2_16
  • Curb, or tarsal plantar desmitis, is traditionally considered a sprain of the plantar ligament, which runs down the back of the hock, serving functionally as a tension band connecting the calcaneus, the fourth tarsal bone and the fourth metatatarsal bone. Recent work has shown that curb can be caused by damage to one of many soft tissue structures in this region.Hock (anatomy)_item_2_17
  • StringhaltHock (anatomy)_item_2_18

Conformational defects Hock (anatomy)_section_3

Also see equine conformation Hock (anatomy)_sentence_9

Because the hock takes a great deal of strain in all performance disciplines, correct conformation is essential if the horse is to have a sound and productive working life. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_10

Common conformational defects include sickle hocks, post-legged conformation/straight hocks, cow hocks, and bowed hocks. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_11

Depending on the use of the horse, some defects may be more acceptable than others. Hock (anatomy)_sentence_12

See also Hock (anatomy)_section_4

Hock (anatomy)_unordered_list_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hock (anatomy).