Articular Cartilage: Specialized tissue lining the ends of bones in a joint. It is composed of a matrix of collagen, proteoglycans (hyaluronic acid & chondroitin sulfate) and water. It allows for a smooth, gliding surface during joint movement and also acts as a shock absorber. Articular Cartilage is continuously being remodeled by breaking down the matrix and replacing it with a new layer.
Bone: Serves as the framework for the horse’s body, where muscles, ligaments and tendon attach. The bone in a joint supports all of the joint’s tissues. A joint needs a healthy bone to function properly.
Ligaments, Tendons and Muscles: All three are involved in providing stability to a joint. If any of these tissues become damaged, the joint will lose stability and may be more susceptible to injury.
Synovial Fluid:Serves to lubricate the joint, provide nutrition to neighbouring cells maintaining joint cartilage as well as remove waste products. Normal joint fluid is pale yellow in colour and oily – similar in consistency to car engine oil.