Objective—To compare macrostructural and microstructural features of proximal sesamoid bones (PSBs) from horses with and without PSB midbody fracture to gain insight into the pathogenesis of PSB fracture.
Sample Population—PSBs from 16 Thoroughbred racehorses (8 with and 8 without a PSB midbody fracture).
Procedures—Parasagittal sections of fractured and contralateral intact PSBs from horses with a PSB fracture and an intact PSB from age- and sex-matched control horses without a PSB fracture were evaluated for visual, radiographic, microradiographic, histologic, and his-tomorphometric differences in bone porosity, vascular channels, heme pigment, trabecular anisotropy, and pathological findings.
Results—Fractured PSBs and their contralateral intact PSBs had more compacted trabecular bone than did control PSBs. Focal repair or remodeling was evident in the palmar aspect of many fractured and contralateral intact PSBs. Fracture coincided with microstructural features and propagated from the flexor to the articular surface.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fractured PSBs had adapted to high loading but had focal evidence of excessive remodeling and porosity that likely predisposed the horses to complete fracture and catastrophic injury. Detection of focal injury before complete fracture provides an opportunity for prevention of catastrophic injury. Development of diagnostic imaging methods to assess porosity of PSBs may help to identify at-risk horses and allow for modifications of training and racing schedules to reduce the incidence of PSB fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses.
Objective—To determine morphological and mechanical properties of trabecular bone of horses with a bone fragility syndrome (BFS; including silicate-associated osteoporosis).
Sample—Cylindrical trabecular bone samples from the distal aspects of cadaveric third metacarpal bones of 39 horses (19 horses with a BFS [BFS bone samples] and 20 horses without a BFS [control bone samples]).
Procedures—Bone samples were imaged via micro-CT for determination of bone volume fraction; apparent and mean mineralized bone densities; and trabecular number, thickness, and separation. Bone samples were compressed to failure for determination of apparent elastic modulus and stresses, strains, and strain energy densities for yield, ultimate, and failure loads. Effects of BFS and age of horses on variables were determined.
Results—BFS bone samples had 25% lower bone volume fraction, 28% lower apparent density, 18% lower trabecular number and thickness, and 16% greater trabecular separation versus control bone samples. The BFS bone samples had 22% lower apparent modulus and 32% to 33% lower stresses, 10% to 18% lower strains, and 41 % to 52% lower strain energy densities at yield, ultimate, and failure loads, compared with control bone samples. Differences between groups of bone samples were not detected for mean mineral density and trabecular anisotropy.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that horses with a BFS had osteopenia and compromised trabecular bone function, consistent with bone deformation and pathological fractures that develop in affected horses. Effects of this BFS may be systemic, and bones other than those that are clinically affected had changes in morphological and mechanical properties.