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To evaluate the elastic modulus of various ligaments of the forelimbs of cadaveric horses.


408 ligaments from 37 forelimbs of 10 Thoroughbred cadavers and cadavers of 9 other horse breeds.


Collateral ligaments and straight and oblique sesamoid ligaments were harvested from the proximal interphalangeal, metacarpophalangeal, carpal, and elbow joints of both forelimbs of all 19 horses. Ligament dimensions were measured, and the elastic modulus was determined by tensile testing the ligaments with a strain rate of 1 mm•s−1.


Elastic modulus of the ligaments differed significantly among joints. Highest mean ± SE elastic modulus was for the medial collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joints of Thoroughbreds (68.3 ± 11.0 MPa), and the lowest was for the lateral collateral ligament of the elbow joints of other breeds (2.8 ± 0.3 MPa). Thoroughbreds had a significantly higher elastic modulus for the collateral ligaments of the proximal interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints, compared with values for the other breeds. There was large variation in elastic modulus. Elastic modulus was negatively affected by age. In the ligaments in the distal aspect of the forelimbs, elastic modulus was negatively affected by height at the highest point of the shoulders (ie, withers).


Cross-sectional area and elastic modulus of collateral ligaments in the forelimbs of equine cadavers differed between breeds and among joints, which may have been reflective of their relative physiologic function under loading during exercise.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To compare regional proportions and spatial distributions of volumetric bone mineral density (BMDv) of the palmar aspect of the distal epiphysis of the third metacarpal bone (McIII) in limbs with or without a condylar fracture from Thoroughbred racehorses.

SAMPLE McIIIs from cadavers of Thoroughbred racehorses with (n = 6 bones) and without (8) a condylar fracture.

PROCEDURES BMDv and spatial distributions of BMDv in peripheral quantitative CT images of the distal epiphysis of McIIIs were quantitatively assessed with spatial analysis software. Relative proportions of voxels within 9 threshold categories of BMDv and spatial statistics for BMDv distribution were compared between fractured and nonfractured limbs.

RESULTS No significant differences in BMDv characteristics were identified between fractured and nonfractured limbs, although fractured limbs had a lower proportion of voxels in the BMDv thresholds 700 to < 800 mg/cm3 and 800 to < 900 mg/cm3 but a higher proportion of voxels in the BMDv threshold 1,000 to < 1,100 mg/cm3 for the central condylar region of the medial condyle. Results of spatial analysis reflected the response of bone to race training rather than differences between fractured and nonfractured limbs. In both limb groups, uniform clusters of low BMDv with areas of high BMDv were identified.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE BMDv characteristics of the distal epiphysis of McIII reflected training load, and fracture characteristics were subtle. Serial imaging techniques in conjunction with detailed training data are required to elucidate the onset of the pathological response to load in horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop an in vivo CT method to measure inclination angles and motion of the sacroiliac joints in dogs of performance breeds.

Animals—10 German Shepherd Dogs and 12 Greyhounds without signs of lumbosacral region pain or neurologic problems.

Procedures—CT of the ilium and sacrum was performed in flexed, neutral, and extended hind limb positions. Lines were drawn on volume-rendered images acquired in the flexed and extended positions to measure motion of the ilia relative to the sacra. Inclination angles of the synovial and ligamentous components of the sacroiliac joints were measured on transverse-plane CT images acquired at cranial and caudal locations. Coefficients of variance of measurements were calculated to determine intraobserver variability.

Results—Coefficients of variance of measurements ranged from 0.17% to 2.45%. A significantly higher amount of sacroiliac joint rotational motion was detected for German Shepherd Dogs versus Greyhounds. The cranial synovial joint component had a significantly more sagittal orientation in German Shepherd Dogs versus Greyhounds. No significant differences were detected between breeds for x- or y-axis translational motion or caudal synovial or ligamentous joint component inclination angles.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The small amounts of sacroiliac joint motion detected in this study may buffer high-frequency vibrations during movement of dogs. Differences detected between breeds may be associated with the predisposition of German Shepherd Dogs to develop lumbosacral region signs of pain, although the biological importance of this finding was not determined. Future studies are warranted to compare sacroiliac joint variables between German Shepherd Dogs with and without lumbosacral region signs of pain.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research