19 research outputs found

    Multibody Computer Model of the Entire Equine Forelimb Simulates Forces Causing Catastrophic Fractures of the Carpus during a Traditional Race

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    Simple Summary Palios are traditional horseraces held in the main square of few Italian cities. Due to peculiar features of such circuits, adapted to the square architecture and thus characterized by tight curves and unconventional footing surface, horses involved are at particular risk of accidents. Prevention of catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries is a significant issue and matter of debate during these events. In particular, the negotiation of the curves in the city circuits is a significative concern. An experiment was set up to build a model of entire forelimb at the point of failure in the context of a turn comparable to that in a Palio circuit. The model was informed by live data and the output compared to post-mortem findings obtained from a horse that sustained a catastrophic fracture of the carpus during this competition. The objective of this study is to determine the magnitude and distribution of internal forces generated across the carpus under which the catastrophic injury has occurred and describe related post-mortem findings. A catastrophic fracture of the radial carpal bone experienced by a racehorse during a Palio race was analyzed. Computational modelling of the carpal joint at the point of failure informed by live data was generated using a multibody code for dynamics simulation. The circuit design in a turn, the speed of the animal and the surface characteristics were considered in the model. A macroscopic examination of the cartilage, micro-CT and histology were performed on the radio-carpal joint of the limb that sustained the fracture. The model predicted the points of contact forces generated at the level of the radio-carpal joint where the fracture occurred. Articular surfaces of the distal radius, together with the proximal articular surface of small carpal bones, exhibited diffuse wear lines, erosions of the articular cartilage and subchondral bone exposure. Even though the data in this study originated from a single fracture and further work will be required to validate this approach, this study highlights the potential correlation between elevated impact forces generated at the level of contact surfaces of the carpal joint during a turn and cartilage breakdown in the absence of pre-existing pathology. Computer modelling resulted in a useful tool to inversely calculate internal forces generated during specific conditions that cannot be reproduced in-vivo because of ethical concerns