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Vet J. 2006 Jan;171(1):157-65.

Catastrophic fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpus/metatarsus in UK racehorses - fracture descriptions and pre-existing pathology.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Liverpool Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Leahurst, Neston CH64 7TE, UK.


The characteristics of, and pre-existing pathology associated with 75 cases of fatal lateral condylar fracture sustained by Thoroughbreds while racing in the UK were described. Cases were identified from 220 cases of fatal distal limb fracture submitted as part of studies designed to identify risk factors for all fatal distal limb fractures. Fractures were most common in hurdle races and affected the right forelimb twice as often as the left forelimb. Fracture dimensions were similar to previous reports, however there was a much greater prevalence of articular and diaphyseal comminution and of concurrent fractures in the current report. Pre-existing pathology was particularly common in the medial and lateral parasagittal grooves of the distal articular surfaces of the third metacarpus/metatarsus. The degree of this pathology was not associated with horse age, length of career or number of career starts.

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