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Online Journal of Veterinary Research

(Including Medical and Laboratory Research)

Established 1994

ISSN 1328-925X


Volume 28(4): 226-232, 2024.

Effect of single impact load on equine articular cartilage.


Bowe EA., Henson FMD, Caddick J, Jeffcott LB, Davies ME.


Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3OES




Bowe EA., Henson FMD, Caddick J, Jeffcott LB, Davies ME., Effect of single impact load on equine articular cartilage, Onl J Vet Res., 28(4): 226-232, 2024. We report damage caused to equine articular cartilage by a single impact load height of 10cm compared to 2.5cm. Samples of control discs (no load) were compared with loaded discs and loads of 0.175J impacted at 0.7m/s when 500g was dropped from 2.5cm and 0.49J at 1.4m/s dropped from 10cm equivalent to 8MPa and 38MPa respectively. A total of 45 unimpacted discs, 45 discs impacted at 2.5 cm and 45 discs of cartilage impacted at 10cm were analysed. Cartilages were processed for microscopy stained by Haematoxylin & Eosin and Toluidine blue to visualize damage and determine proteoglycan from extracellular matrix. We measured loss of articular surface and proteoglycan content, which were more marked at 10cm than 2.5cm. The damage caused by a single impact load from a height of 2.5cm was comparable to that previously reported in exercised horses and in clinical cases of degenerative joint disease.


Key Words: Equine, cartilage, load, osteoarthritis.