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Humeral and Scapular Fracture Study

Published: November 30, 2012 11:04 am ET

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Dr. Erin McKerney, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Stover from the J.D Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory at UC Davis is conducting a study to better understand the events that lead to catastrophic fractures of the humerus and scapula in racehorses.

These injuries can happen suddenly, unexpectedly and often without warning to horses under the care of a large variety of trainers. Complete fractures of the scapula and humerus are almost always fatal; but, when recognized early, the predisposing incomplete stress fractures can heal and horses are able to successfully return to racing.

The purpose of the study is to determine if there are any warning signs, no matter how subtle, that could be indicative of humeral or scapular stress fractures and impending catastrophic fracture. Better knowledge of any signs leading up to fracture, subtle or otherwise, will help trainers and veterinarians work together to identify mild injuries and prevent fatal injuries.

The study will be conducted by phone survey of trainers. The information will be kept strictly confidential, and will be summarized in anonymous form for use by trainers and veterinarians to aid injury prevention. This study is done in concert with California’s Racing Safety Program.

(UC Davis)

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