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

Your vet may diagnose

Carpal Arthritis, Carpitis

Synonyms: Popped Knee, Sore Knee, Big Knee, Swing Leg


The carpus is often incorrectly referred to by horse people as the knee. It is actually the horse's wrist. Three joints make up the carpus. The two upper joints provide the majority of the range of motion in this high motion area. Arthritis is common in these joints, especially in older horses.

This condition generally appears to horse owners as a swollen carpus, with reduced range of motion and variable degree of lameness.

The carpus is generally quite tolerant of injury. In most equine disciplines, the carpus is not as mechanically taxed or injured compared to other areas within the limb.

Injury to the carpus is common in race horses. With fatigue of the area during racing, hyper-extension occurs causing injury and fracture of the small carpal bones, frequently resulting in chronic arthritis. Likewise, in any other discipline, horses that are trained beyond their fitness level can injure this area.

my vet's role



Other conditions or ailments that might also need to be ruled out by a vet.

Very Common
Less Common
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Treatments May Include

These treatments might be used to help resolve or improve this condition.

Very Common
Less Common
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Fair. Depends on the severity of arthritic change, cartilage loss, the existence of carpal fractures.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP