Journal article

Evaluation of a subject-specific finite-element model of the equine metacarpophalangeal joint under physiological load

Simon M Harrison, R Chris Whitton, Chris E Kawcak, Susan M Stover, Marcus G Pandy



The equine metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint is frequently injured, especially by racehorses in training. Most injuries result from repetitive loading of the subchondral bone and articular cartilage rather than from acute events. The likelihood of injury is multi-factorial but the magnitude of mechanical loading and the number of loading cycles are believed to play an important role. Therefore, an important step in understanding injury is to determine the distribution of load across the articular surface during normal locomotion. A subject-specific finite-element model of the MCP joint was developed (including deformable cartilage, elastic ligaments, muscle forces and rigid representations of ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Tanya Garcia-Nolen and the staff and volunteer students of the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center for their help in the collection and analysis of the gait data. Katrina Easton is gratefully acknowledged for supplying expertise, assistance and equipment for the in vitro experiments. We thank Tomas Correa for his help with the initial FE simulations. A Gait-Extract toolbox (freely available from was used to extract and process the raw kinematic marker, ground reaction force and muscle EMG data obtained for each trial into a format suitable for input to the musculoskeletal model. This work was supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation of the Australian Government, the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the Dan Lufkin Foundation, an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP0772838), a VESKI Innovation Fellowship to M.G.P., and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.