We are a multidisciplinary research group using detailed investigation of bone microstructure, bone biomechanical properties, computational modelling of limb loads and epidemiological studies of injury to investigate the causes of bone and joint injury in horses and to develop preventative strategies that can be implemented by the equine industry.
- Subchondral bone microstructure in athletic horses
- Joint surface loading in galloping horses
Research group leader/key contact
Research group members
- *Bani Hassan, E., Mirams, M., Ghasem-Zadeh, A, Mackie, E. J., Whitton, R. C. – Role of subchondral bone remodelling in collapse of the articular surface of Thoroughbred racehorses with palmar osteochondral disease. Accepted, Equine Vet. J. DOI: 10.1111/evj.12415 (2015)
- *Trope, G.D., Ghasem-Zadeh, A., Anderson, G.A., Mackie, E.J. and Whitton, R.C. – Can high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) imaging of subchondral and cortical bone predict condylar fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses? Equine Vet. J. Equine Vet. J. 47:428-32 (2015).
- *Holmes, J.M. Mirams, M., Mackie, E.J. and Whitton, R.C. – Thoroughbred horses in race training have lower levels of subchondral bone remodelling in highly loaded regions of the distal metacarpus compared to horses resting from training. Vet. J. 202:443-447 (2014).
- *Martig, S., Chen, W., Lee, P.V.S., and Whitton, R.C. Bone fatigue and its implications for injuries in racehorses. – Equine Vet. J. 46:408-415 (2014).
- *Jackson, M.A., Vizard, A. L., Anderson G.A., Smithenson, B.T., Mattoon, J.S., Lavelle, R.B. Lester, N.V., Clarke, A.F., Whitton R.C. – An assessment of intra- and interobserver agreement of reporting orthopaedic findings on presale radiographs of Thoroughbred yearlings. Equine Vet. J. 46:567-574 (2013).
- 6. *Whitton R.C., Jackson M.A., Campbell A.J.D., Anderson G.A., Parkin T.D., Morton J.M., Boden L.A. - Musculoskeletal injury rates in Thorougbred racehorses following local corticosteroid injection, Vet. J. 200:71-76 (2014).
- *Harrison, S.M., Whitton, R.C., Kawcak, C.E., Stover, S.M.& Pandy, M.G. – Evaluation of a subject-specific finite-element model of the equine metacarpophalangeal joint. J. Biomech. (2014) 47:65-73.
- *Martig, S. Lee, P.V.S., Anderson, G.A. and Whitton, R.C. – Compressive fatigue life of subchondral bone of the metacarpal condyle in Thorougbred racehorses. Bone (2013) 57:392-398.
- *Malekipour, F., Whitton, R.C., Oetomo, D., and Lee, P.V.S. – Shock absorbing ability of articular cartilage and subchondral bone under impact compression. J Mech.Behav.Biomed. Mater. (2013) 26:127-135.
- *Hennessy, S.E., Muurlink, M.A., Anderson, G.A., Puksmann, T.N. and Whitton, R.C. – The effect of displaced versus non-displaced pelvic fractures on long term racing performance in 31 Thoroughbred racehorses. Aust.Vet. J. 91:246-250 (2013).
- *Whitton, R.C., Anderson, G.A., Mackie, E.J., & Seeman, E. – Exercise-induced inhibition of remodelling is focally offset with fatigue fracture in racehorses. Osteop. Int. (2013) 24:2043-2048.
- *Cust, A.R.E., Anderson, G.A., Whitton, R.C. & Davies, H.M.S. – Hoof conformation and performance in the racing Thoroughbred in Macau. Aus. Vet. J. (2013) 91:108-112.
- *Harrison, S.M., Whitton, R.C., King, M., Haussler, K.K., Kawcak, C.E., Stover, S.M. & Pandy, M.G. – Function of the forelimb muscles of the horse during locomotion. J. Exp. Biol. (2012) 215(pt 17):2980-2991.
- *Trope, G. D., Anderson, G. A. & Whitton, R.C., Patterns of scintigraphic uptake in the fetlock joint of thoroughbred racehorses and the effect of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake in the distal metacarpal/tarsal condyle on performance. Equine Vet. J. (2011) 43: 509-515.
In the News
A change to racehorse training schedules could be the key to reducing injuries on the track
As a racehorse thunders around the track, nose flaring and limbs striving, it generates up to four tonnes of load per stride onto the lower joints of its legs. But this is amazing feat of strength is not one without risk.
Without the proper management of a horse’s bones, over time the damage to the surface of these joints leads to shorter careers, and can lead to deadly injuries on the track. In a public lecture, Chris Whitton, Head of the Equine Centre at U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital said too often, racehorse training regimens increase this risk by not allowing horses enough time to recover between training periods.