Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Subchondral Bone Cyst, Stifle

Synonyms: OCD, Osteochondrosis of Stifle, SBC


This is a defect in the bone scaffolding underlying the cartilage in the stifle joint. It causes collapse of the overlying cartilage, arthritis and pain in the joint. The location of this condition is usually the medial condyle of the femur.

This is mostly a radiographic diagnosis, appearing as a dark "hole" within the ball at the end of the femur in stifle radiographs.

This is most often a problem found in young horses, usually detected when a horse is put into work and lameness is noticed, prompting a veterinary lameness exam.

This is considered a type of osteochondrosis, which is failure of normal development of the structure of the joint.

my vet's role


Horses with this condition may be helped by surgery and a variety of other treatments, but in most cases, the prognosis for a performance career is fair at best.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP