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Variations in musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses at different yards

P. H. L. Ramzan, L. Palmer

IT is generally thought that musculoskeletal injury patterns in racehorses can vary between yards and individual trainers. In order to further characterise regional patterns of exercise-related injuries seen in practice, three training yards in Newmarket were studied retrospectively.

Three flat racing yards were chosen for the study on the basis of their similarity in horse populations, approach to veterinary intervention and availability of comprehensive records. Veterinary reports, diagnostic images and surgical notes were reviewed for every episode of lameness between 2005 and 2007. Injuries incurred during both training and racing were included. However, injuries diagnosed on arrival of a horse from another training yard, as well as injuries sustained by horses temporarily being trained or raced elsewhere, were excluded from analysis.

A total of 248 injuries were recorded in 217 of 616 horses. The most common injuries were tibial stress fractures (20.7 per cent), followed by fractures of the proximal phalanx (14.5 per cent), carpal fractures (11.2 per cent), pelvic stress fractures (10.8 per cent), superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendonitis (10.8 per cent) and metacarpal/metatarsal condylar …

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