Histopathological findings of apical fracture of the proximal sesamoid bones in young Thoroughbred foals

J Equine Sci. 2017;28(3):123-126. doi: 10.1294/jes.28.123. Epub 2017 Sep 20.


Although radiographic findings at the apical portion of the proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) are often observed in young Thoroughbred foals, conflicting findings, either fractures or apparent secondary ossifications centers, have been reported. Three cases (aged 2, 5, and 7 weeks) were identified in 30 necropsied foals (0-31 weeks old). Histopathologically, the subchondral trabecular woven bone was fractured and exhibited focal necrosis of woven bone, fibrin exudate, and/or fibrosis within the foci. In the 7-week-old case, proliferations of chondrocytes were also observed. These findings suggest that the radiographic findings represented a healing process of the apical PSB fractures associated with the mechanically damaged subchondral trabeculae. Developmental PSB injuries should be taken into consideration during the management of young Thoroughbred foals.

Keywords: foal; proximal sesamoid bone fracture; subchondral lesion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports