Podcast: Science of Prediction to Prevent Racehorse Injuries

Drs. Tim Parkin and Sarah Plevin describe studies focused on predicting injury before it occurs.
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If injuries in racehorses can be predicted there is a far greater chance they can be prevented, suggests the latest podcast in the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) collection.

In the 45-minute orthopedic-themed broadcast Tim Parkin, BSc, BVSc , PhD, DECVPH, MRCVS, discusses the advantages of early MRI detection of bone changes, which occur prior to catastrophic limb fracture. Additionally, Sarah Plevin, BVMS, MRCVS, CVA, Dipl. ABVP, ACVSMR, talks about the possible relationship between sesamoiditis, subclinical suspensory ligament branch change and suspensory ligament branch injury in yearling Thoroughbreds.

Lateral condyle fractures of the third metacarpus (MC3, the cannon bone) is the most common reason for euthanasia on the racecourse, while suspensory branch ligament injury is a frequent stumbling block in yearling Thoroughbreds in the initial months of training. In the podcast Parkin and Plevin both explain the potential advantages of early intervention to prevent injury and maintain racing performance.

Parkin of Glasgow University Veterinary School, in Scotland, explores the question "Can we use subchondral bone thickness on high-field magnetic resonance images to identify Thoroughbred racehorses at risk of catastrophic lateral condylar fracture?" The study, which assessed the bone-level risk factors for fracture in racehorses, is part of long-standing program of research to prevent racehorse injury, funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board

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