First AOVET Focus Course—Diagnosis and Management of Common Fractures in Thoroughbred Racehorses Held in Hong Kong

19. July 2017

The first AOVET Focus Course—Diagnosis and Management of Common Fractures in Thoroughbred Racehorses, was held in Hong Kong from March 28-31, 2017.

Course group photo

​The newly developed course was designed by course chairperson Christopher Riggs, along with faculty members Jorg Auer (CH), Dean Richardson (US), and Paul Robinson (HK). The course enables clinicians to properly diagnose racehorse fractures, thereby reducing the risk of catastrophic racing and training fractures, and improving outcomes following internal fixation of common intra-articular fractures.

Bringing expertise to fracture management in racehorses

The focus course provided a balanced program, covering interactive lectures, small group discussions, and practical exercises that enabled the participants to interact and discuss with the course faculty. At the beginning of the course, participants practiced interpreting radiographs, ultrasound images, and scintigraphic studies, in order to enhance their ability to identify critical signs that precede catastrophic fracture. The participants were also given the opportunity to develop their skills in the surgical repair of common fractures through a series of practical laboratories. These sessions concluded with wet labs at the Equine Hospital of Hong Kong Jockey Club, where the participants could practice the full procedure under arthroscopic guidance on cadaver limbs. In addition, the participants learned the benefits of placing implants to stabilize fractures in conscious horses under local anesthesia, and how to identify cases suitable for standing surgery.

Participant feedback

“This course was excellent. It provided a great learning opportunity, and was very well organized,” shared one participant. Others found the practical exercise session extremely beneficial, particularly with the progression from plastic limbs, to foams, and then cadavers. “It was valuable to learn the principles, and then be able to practice them in a real scenario,” shared another. In all, the course received outstanding feedback from the participants.

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Images

Icon Faculty demonstrating lag screw repair
Icon Ultrasonographic examination of common locations of fractures
Icon Participants practicing arthroscopic-guided fracture repair
Icon Participants practicing arthroscopic-guided fracture repair
Icon Participants praciticing standing Repair of incomplete and non-displaced fractures
Icon Participants practicing lag screw repair