Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Curb, Strain of Tarsal Plantar Ligament

Synonyms: Plantar Ligament Desmitis, Curby Hock

The thick plantar ligament runs down from the point of the hock to several points at the lower-rear of the hock. A “curby hock” is a hock with fullness to the area below the hock in profile (an outward bowing or swelling), when viewed from the side.

Swelling of this area and strain of the plantar ligament is more common in sickle hocked horses and Standardbred racehorses, but can occur in any horse. Signs of injury are heat, swelling and pain in the area with or without obvious lameness.

After several months of rest, the thickening may persist and harden, but generally horses are able to perform. In some severe cases, there is recurrence of pain and inflammation. It is important to know that multiple other important anatomical structures run through this area and can be involved in swelling of the region.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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