Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

A retrospective evaluation of the surgical management of equine carpal injury

Raidal, S.L. and Wright, J.D. (1996) A retrospective evaluation of the surgical management of equine carpal injury. Australian Veterinary Journal, 74 (3). pp. 198-202.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Records of 220 thoroughbred horses presented to the Randwick Equine Centre or the University of Queensland Veterinary Teaching Hospital for surgical management of carpal injury were reviewed. Details of racing performance were obtained, enabling evaluation of racing success following surgery. Age and sex matched control horses not known to have suffered carpal injury were selected from the Australian Stud Book and the Australian Racehorse Register. Control and treated populations were compared in terms of overall career racing success.

Radiographs or xeroradiographs from 198 horses were available for evaluation. The dorsomedial aspects of the distal articular surface of the radial carpal bone and the proximal articular surface of the third carpal bone were the most commonly observed locations of osteochondral fracture. Bilateral carpal injury was found to be sufficiently common to warrant routine radiographic examination of both limbs. The dorsolateral-palmaromedial oblique, flexed lateral and dorsoproximal-dorsodistal oblique (skyline) projections were the most useful views for evaluation of carpal degenerative joint disease. Surgical removal of osteochondral fractures by arthrotomy or arthroscopy was found to be a suitable method of treatment.

Arthroscopy was associated with a significantly shorter convalescent period than arthrotomy. Seventy-six percent of the treated population returned to racing following surgery. Average earnings following surgery were 20 000. However, the median value was only 1400 and 48% of the treated population failed to earn more than 1000. Male horses in both the treated and control groups performed significantly better than females. Treated horses performed significantly better than the randomly selected control population.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Item Control Page Item Control Page