Pathogenesis of distal limb breakdown injuries in Thoroughbred Racehorses




Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

To elucidate more information about the relationship between bone metabolism (modelling and remodelling) and catastrophic limb fracture in racehorses. Hypotheses: 1. That fracture occurs in racehorses when EITHER: a) Bone modelling is unable to keep pace with fatigue damage accumulation. OR b) Return to race training following a short rest period coincides with a peak in osteoclastic activity and therefore reduced bone strength. 2. That bone metabolism in the subchondral bone of the distal metacarpus/metatarsus is similar to that occuring in the dorsal cortex midshaft (a more clinically accessible region). If so then clinical evaluation of fracture risk might be possible by examining the midshaft using existing or future diagnostic tools.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Project Completion Date

Monday, February 28, 2011

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

An environmentally sustainable Australia

National Priority

Soil, water and managing natural resources

National Priority

HOR-Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses


Related publications


Understanding Leg Fatigue Fractures in Thoroughbred Horses - fact sheet