Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Offset Carpus or Bench Knees

This diagnosis refers to a conformational abnormality of the carpus in which the cannon bone lies outside of a line that otherwise runs down the middle of the limb (when viewed from the front).

This is not a desirable conformation for breeding stock or performance horses of any kind because the mechanics of this conformation tends to predispose to other injuries of the carpus, arthritis and splint injuries.

Mild Bench knee may not be of much consequence for horses used for pleasure use.

There is nothing that can be done medically or surgically to “fix” this problem.

Skills I might need


  • Will this abnormality affect my ability to do what I want to do with my horse?
  • Is there anything that can be done to help the horse?
  • Is this something that can be passed on to progeny of my horse?
  • Should I still purchase this horse, despite this conformational abnormality?

    Select for and breed horses of ideal conformation. Do not purchase a horse that has this conformation without understanding it's impact on your proposed use.
    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


    We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.