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Racehorse Musculoskeletal Injury

We are studying the pathophysiology of fetlock fractures in racehorses, especially proximal sesamoid bone fracture, through quantitative CT imaging and bone quality assessment.  Long-term goals of this work are to develop clinically relevant methods of assessing fracture risk in equine athletes and to identify factors associated with increased fracture risk.



Noordwijk KJ, Chen L, Ruspi BD, Schurer S, Papa B, Fasanello DC, McDonough SP, Palmer SE, Porter IR, Basran P, Donnelly EL, Reesink HL. Metacarpophalangeal joint pathology and bone mineral density increase with exercise but not with incidence of proximal sesamoid bone fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses. Animals. 2023 Feb 24;12(5):827. doi: 10.3390/ani13050827. PMID: 36899684.


Basran PS, McDonough S, Palmer SE, Reesink HL. Radiomics modeling of catastrophic proximal sesamoid bone fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses using microCT. Animals. 2022 Nov 4; 12(21):3033. doi: 10.3390/ani12213033. PMID: 36359157. PMCID: PMC9658779.


Luedke LK, Ilevbare P, Noordwijk KJ, Palomino P, McDonough SP, Palmer SE, Basran PS, Donnelly EL, Reesink HL. Proximal sesamoid bone microdamage is localized to articular subchondral regions in Thoroughbred racehorses, with similar fracture toughness between fracture and controls. Vet Surg. 2022 Aug;51(6):952-962. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13816. Epub 2022 Jun 7. PMID: 35672916.


Cresswell EN, Ruspi BD, Wollman CW, Peal BT, Deng S, Toler AB, McDonough SP, Palmer SE, Reesink HL. Determination of correlation of proximal sesamoid bone osteoarthritis with high-speed furlong exercise and catastrophic sesamoid bone fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses. Am J Vet Res. 2021 June;82(6):467-477. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.82.6.467. PMID: 34032482.


Basran P, Gao J, Palmer SE, Reesink HL. A radiomics platform for computing imaging features from microCT images of Thoroughbred racehorse proximal sesamoid bones: benchmark performance and evaluation. Equine Vet J. 2020 Mar;53(2):277-286. doi: 10.1111/evj.13321. Epub 2020 Aug 7. PMID: 32654167.


Cresswell EN, McDonough SP, Palmer SE, Hernandez CJ, Reesink HL.  Can quantitative computed tomography detect bone morphological changes associated with catastrophic proximal sesamoid bone fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses? Equine Vet J. 2019 Jan;51(1):123-130. doi: 10.1111/evj.12965.  PMID: 29758110.

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