My mare was just diagnosed with ringbone - NOT what I wanted to hear. I am certainly not an expert, but I have done so much research my head is spinning! I was told ringbone USUALLY affects the front feet - it causes heat and swelling over the foot - x-rays would show if/where any new bone growth had developed - a positive sign of the disease.
Ringbone is the result of some traumatic disturbance to the outer fibrous covering of the bone and that causes new bone growth - it usually developes into osteoarthritis (a severe type of arthritis) of the pastern or coffin joint. My Vet blames my mare's ringbone on poor conformation (PLUS she is a Reiner) -- a base-wide horse -- there is HIGH ringbone - LOW ringbone - ARTICULAR ringbone, or true ringbone and PERIARTICULAR ringbone, or false ringbone. Each type affects a different area/surface in the foot. There are ways to deal with ringbone, but the disease is not reversable. My Vet had my farrier shoe my mare specificaly for ringbone and that did help aleviate some of her pain. My Vet is talking about injecting her pastern joints and putting her on glucosamine/HA injections - she said medications are a first step in dealing with the ringbone. The different types of ringbone respond to different treatment so your Vet would need to do some x-rays and diagnose the specific type of ringbone that your horse is dealing with before any proper and exact treatment could be started. My Vet said surgery is the last option, so we will discuss surgery at a later date. I am hoping that with proper shoes, helpful supplements and medications, my girl will be sound so she can continue to enjoy trail rides. I'll have to see - there are no guarantees with this devistating disease. My Vet doesn't want to rush into anything - she is more consertative, which I like. I am afraid this is going to be a battle for us but I am up for the fight! My mare has never taken a lame step in all her 15 years, until now - I am still in denial and shock! I would suggest talking to your Vet and see if you are dealing with ringbone - I don't know about the hind feet being affected. In all the reading I've done I can't remember any articles about hind feet ringbone - BUT.....I don't know for sure.
I hope you don't have to deal with ringbone - this has been one of the most disheartening situations I've ever had to endure! Wishing you the best of luck and I hope you will get better news from your Vet than I did from mine!