Distribution of Pelvic Fractures in Racing and Non-racing Sport Horses: A Retrospective Study of 86 Cases Examined in a Referral CentreFunding The present study is supported by the FEDER (Fonds Européen de Développement Régional), the region Normandie, the Calvados County Council, Eperon Funds and French Ministers of Agriculture and Research.
11 April 2018
15 January 2019
28 March 2019 (eFirst)
Objective The aim of this study was to analyse the pelvic fracture distribution and location in a referral centre caseload.
Materials and Methods Medical records of 6,717 horses examined in a referral centre over a 7-year period were reviewed to identify all horses diagnosed with a pelvic fracture. Eighty-six horses were identified and divided into three disciplines, namely Thoroughbred racehorses (TBR), Standardbred trotter racehorses (STR) and non-racing sport horses (NRSH).
Results A pelvic fracture was diagnosed in 1.3% of the cases examined during the study period. Prevalence was significantly higher in TBR (4.2%) and, regardless of the discipline, in horses under the age of 6 years (2.2%) (p < 0.01). STR were significantly younger than TBR and NRSH at the time of fracture (median ages = 1, 3 and 4 years old, respectively; p < 0.01). The fractures occurred most frequently in the ilium (44/86). No ilial wing fractures were diagnosed in STR and isolated acetabular fractures were only diagnosed in foals and yearlings. Fatigue fractures were diagnosed in TBR alone, affecting 9/22 TBR (foals and yearlings excluded) and most often located in the ilial wing (7 fatigue fractures out of the 12 ilial wing fractures) (p < 0.01). The median age of horses suffering from a pelvic fatigue fracture was 4 years.
Clinical Significance This study confirms that young horses (under the age of 6 years) as well as TBR are likely to be at higher risk of a pelvic fracture. Fatigue fractures of the ilial wing seem to be a rare condition in STR while they are more frequent in young TBR in training.
Claire H. Moiroud contributed to conception of study, study design, acquisition of data and data analysis and interpretation. Virginie Coudry contributed to conception of study and data analysis and interpretation. Jean-Marie Denoix contributed to conception of study, study design and data analysis and interpretation. All authors drafted, revised and approved the submitted manuscript.
- 1 Jeffcott LB. Pelvic lameness in the horse. Equine Pract 1982; 4 (03) 21-47
- 2 Little C, Hilbert B. Pelvic fractures in horses: 19 cases (1974-1984). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1987; 190 (09) 1203-1206
- 3 Rutkowski JA, Richardson DW. A retrospective study of 100 pelvic fractures in horses. Equine Vet J 1989; 21 (04) 256-259
- 4 Higgins AJ, Wright IM. Diseases and injuries of the appendicular skeleton, pelvis fracture. In: Higgins AJ, Snyder JR. , eds. The Equine Manual. 1st ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1995: 832-833
- 5 Carrier TK, Estberg L, Stover SM. , et al. Association between long periods without high-speed workouts and risk of complete humeral or pelvic fracture in thoroughbred racehorses: 54 cases (1991-1994). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212 (10) 1582-1587
- 6 Haussler KK, Stover SM. Stress fractures of the vertebral lamina and pelvis in Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J 1998; 30 (05) 374-381
- 7 Bertuglia A, Bullone M, Rossotto F, Gasparini M. Epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in a population of harness Standardbred racehorses in training. BMC Vet Res 2014; 10: 11
- 8 Fuller A, Beever E, Fraser B, Bladon B. A retrospective study of 80 cases of pelvic fractures diagnosed by gamma scintigraphy in Thoroughbred racehorses. Proceedings of the 47th BEVA Congress; Liverpool, United Kingdom; September 10–13, 2008; British Equine Veterinary Association; c2008:142–143
- 9 Collins N, Kelly G, Pollock PJ. , et al. Removal of large necrotic fragments of the tuber coxae from a standing horse. Ir Vet J 2003; 56: 361-363
- 10 Hennessy SE, Muurlink MA, Anderson GA, Puksmann TN, Whitton RC. Effect of displaced versus non-displaced pelvic fractures on long-term racing performance in 31 Thoroughbred racehorses. Aust Vet J 2013; 91 (06) 246-250
- 11 Pilsworth RC, Shepherd MC, Herinckx BM, Holmes MA. Fracture of the wing of the ilium, adjacent to the sacroiliac joint, in thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J 1994; 26 (02) 94-99
- 12 Pilsworth RC. Diagnosis and management of pelvic fractures in the Thoroughbred racehorse. In: Ross MW, Dyson SJ. , eds. Diagnosis and Management of the Lameness in Horse. 1st ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2003: 484-490
- 13 Verheyen KL, Wood JL. Descriptive epidemiology of fractures occurring in British Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Equine Vet J 2004; 36 (02) 167-173
- 14 Verheyen KL, Newton JR, Price JS, Wood JL. A case-control study of factors associated with pelvic and tibial stress fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses in training in the UK. Prev Vet Med 2006; 74 (01) 21-35
- 15 Almanza A, Whitcomb MB. Ultrasonographic Diagnosis of Pelvic Fractures in 28 Horses. Proceedings of the 49th Annual Convention of The American Association of Equine Practioners. New Orleans, Louisiana; November 21–25, 2003; Lexington KY: American Association of Equine Practitioners; c2003
- 16 Dabareiner RM, Cole RC. Fractures of the tuber coxa of the ilium in horses: 29 cases (1996-2007). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 234 (10) 1303-1307
- 17 AAEP. Guide for Veterinary Service and Judging of Equestrian Events. 1st edition. Lexington, KY: American Association of Equine Practitioners; 1991: 19
- 18 Barone R. Anatomie comparée des Mammifères domestiques, Tome I: Ostéologie, Ceinture pelvienne. 4th ed. Paris: VIGOT frères; 1999: 588-641
- 19 Dyson SJ. The coxofemoral and sacroiliac joints and the pelvis. In: Australian Equine Veterinary Association, eds. Equine Head and Hindlimb Medicine and Surgery: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Bain-Fallon Memorial Lectures; Canberra, Australia; June 28–July 2, 1993; The Association Artarmon, N.S.W; c1993:91–106
- 20 Bressou C, Pavaux C, Vladutiu O. Mécano-structure et fracture du bassin chez le cheval. Revue Méd vét 1979; 130: 543-566