Finite element analysis modelling of third metacarpal bone invivo stresses

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-003651

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009

  • Project completion date: Friday, January 31, 2014

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


Assess forces and stresses in the horse fetlock to improve understanding of injury mechanisms and desighn modified training regimes that minimise injury occurrence.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

1. Develop a detailed map of subchondral bone forces in the distal metacarpus of the horse when walking, trotting and galloping using CT based finite element modelling. This will demonstrate how joint surface loading is transferred to the subchondral bone.
2. Compare the magnitude and distribution of subchondral bone forces between metacarpal bones with three different subchondral bone morphologies: from a normal horse, a horse with a condylar fracture and a horse with palmar osteochondral disease. This will improve our understanding of how fetlock injuries occur.
3. Use the finite element modelling output to calculate the fatigue life of the subchondral bone. This will allow recommendations to be made on training regimens that will reduce the risk of fracture and injury.