Apical fracture of the proximal sesamoid bone in Standardbred horses: 43 cases (1990-1996)

J. Brett Woodie From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210.

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Alan J. Ruggles From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210.

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Alicia L. Bertone From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210.

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Joanne Hardy From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210.

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Robert K. Schneider From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210.

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Objective

To determine whether fracture fragment dimensions, suspensory ligament damage, and racing status at the time of injury were associated with outcome in Standardbred horses with apical fracture of the proximal sesamoid bone.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

43 Standardbred racehorses.

Procedure

Medical records, racing records, and radiographs were reviewed, and ultrasonographic findings were scored. Measurements of the fractured portion of the proximal sesamoid bone were made.

Results

Seventy-four percent (32/43) of horses were pacers, and 26% (11/43) were trotters. Statistical differences between trotters and pacers regarding ability to start, number of starts, or amount of money earned after injury were not detected. Females earned significantly more money per start after injury than males. Eighty-six percent (37/43) of fractures involved hind limbs and 14% (6/43) involved forelimbs. Horses with forelimb injuries earned less money per start. Severity of suspensory ligament damage did not affect postinjury racing performance. A higher proportion of horses that had raced before injury returned to racing after surgery than horses that had not raced before injury, although a significant difference between these groups was not detected. Eighty-eight percent of horses that raced before injury raced after injury. Fifty-six percent of horses that did not race before injury raced after injury. Fracture fragment dimensions did not affect outcome.

Clinical Implications

Dimensions of the apical fracture fragment of the proximal sesamoid bone in Standardbred horses and degree of suspensory ligament damage did not affect outcome. Prognosis for return to racing soundness is good in horses that had raced before injury and fair in horses that had not raced before injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1653-1656)

Objective

To determine whether fracture fragment dimensions, suspensory ligament damage, and racing status at the time of injury were associated with outcome in Standardbred horses with apical fracture of the proximal sesamoid bone.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

43 Standardbred racehorses.

Procedure

Medical records, racing records, and radiographs were reviewed, and ultrasonographic findings were scored. Measurements of the fractured portion of the proximal sesamoid bone were made.

Results

Seventy-four percent (32/43) of horses were pacers, and 26% (11/43) were trotters. Statistical differences between trotters and pacers regarding ability to start, number of starts, or amount of money earned after injury were not detected. Females earned significantly more money per start after injury than males. Eighty-six percent (37/43) of fractures involved hind limbs and 14% (6/43) involved forelimbs. Horses with forelimb injuries earned less money per start. Severity of suspensory ligament damage did not affect postinjury racing performance. A higher proportion of horses that had raced before injury returned to racing after surgery than horses that had not raced before injury, although a significant difference between these groups was not detected. Eighty-eight percent of horses that raced before injury raced after injury. Fifty-six percent of horses that did not race before injury raced after injury. Fracture fragment dimensions did not affect outcome.

Clinical Implications

Dimensions of the apical fracture fragment of the proximal sesamoid bone in Standardbred horses and degree of suspensory ligament damage did not affect outcome. Prognosis for return to racing soundness is good in horses that had raced before injury and fair in horses that had not raced before injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1653-1656)

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