Coffin Bone Rotation and Changes within the Hoof
by Dr. Hiltrud Strasser

A rotated coffin bone, which can result from several different causes, is a change in the position of the coffin bone. The sensitive laminae which normally hold the coffin bone firmly in place decay, allowing the toe of the coffin bone to drop. This then presses on the sole, which causes inflammation and changes to the laminae and bone of the toe. New horn no longer grows in this region; only a secretion is produced from the effected area. Eventually, as the sole is worn away from below and the horn on the inside of the sole decays, the tip of the coffin bone protrudes through the sole.

The usual orthopedic treatment to prevent the protrusion of the coffin bone and return it to its physiological position is to apply artificial pressure from below. This is attempted by, for example, a padded bar across the middle of the shoe.

However, this affects only a slight rearward shift of the pressure point, back from the tip of the coffin bone. The resultant alleviation of pressure naturally brings relief, but this is only temporary. After a while, inflammation sets in at the new pressure point, once again causing lameness. By changing the type of shoe, alleviating the pressure each time an acute inflammation occurs, a pain-free situation can be achieved several times without any actual healing having taken place. However, at some point, changing the type of shoe will no longer help, because there is no healthy part of the coffin bone left to which the pressure can be diverted.

In contrast to this, healing can occur when the hoof, through correct trimming, is returned to its optimal natural form, in which the mechanical action of the hoof will resuscitate the laminae.

Copyright Dr. vet. med. H. Strasser
Blaihofstr. 42/1, 72074 Tuebingen, Germany
Tel/Fax: (011) 49-7071-87572
Ed. & Canadian contact: Sabine Kells at email: textorder @

©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

The Horse's Hoof Website
Home - About Us - Articles - Barefoot Performance - Barefoot Stories - Hoof Gallery - Natural Horse Care - EPSM - Events - Trimmers - Experts - Friends - Classified - Resources - News - Links - Strasser Hoofcare Links

To go shopping or subscribe to our magazine, please click here: The Horse's Hoof Store

If you don't see a column to the left: To view the frames version of this site, please click here:

The Horse's Hoof is a division of:

The Horse's Hoof
P.O. Box 1969
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Phone (623) 935-1823
Message Phone: 1-623-935-1823
(Leave a message anytime.)

editor @ (delete spaces)