Study: Osteochondral Necrosis Of Femoral Condyles May Be Secondary To Bacterial Colonization – Horse Racing News

Jannah Pye, BVSc, led a study that sought to identify any commonalities in the development of osteochondral necrosis (bone death) of the femoral condyles (the two rounded prominences at the end of the femur, the “knee joint”) in Thoroughbred foals.

The study team looked at eight foals that had been euthanized with presumptive necrosis of the femoral condyles. Seven of the foals were between nine and 23 days old; one foal was 85 days old.

A postmortem CT was performed on all distal femoral samples and the articular cartilage of affected femurs was examined for abnormal tissue and cell structure.

The researchers found concurrent illness in seven of the foals; illnesses included infections of the small intestine and the umbilical stump, neonatal maladjustment syndrome, and neonatal isoerythrolysis (when the mare has antibodies against the blood type of the newborn).

The common finding before the foals were euthanized was a crescent-shaped osteochondral flap displaced from the affected medial femoral condyle. Synovial fluid samples from the affected joint showed nothing of note or mild inflammation. All lesions showed osteochondral necrosis and detachment of the articular epiphyseal cartilage complex (AECC).

Six of the foals were found to have septic cartilage canals.

The scientists concluded that osteochondral necrosis was secondary to bacterial colonization of the AECC. They recommend further studies into the pathology of osteochondral necrosis to formulate successful treatment and preventative strategies.

Read more at Veterinary33.

Paulick Report Icon