Researchers Study Modeling Hoof Conformation and Laminitis

Researchers in Australia used finite element modeling to compare the mechanical effects of toe-in conformation vs. normal conformation on the response of the coffin bone (P3) to simulated degeneration of the laminar junction between the hoof wall and the coffin bone.

The experiment started with a 3D model of a front foot produced using CT scans to digitally construct nine hoof components including the coffin and navicular bones, the frog, the digital cushion, the sole, wall (dorsal, medial and lateral components) and laminar junction. The model was then subjected to 100 simulated cycles of trotting with centers of pressure representing normal and toed-in conformations while the elastic modulus of the laminar junction was degenerated simulating laminitis. 

Both rotation and distal displacement (also called sinking) were observed. The displacement of P3 was symmetric in the normal model, measured as 2 mm on both the lateral and medial sides. With the toed-in simulation and the center of pressure (loading) shifted laterally, distal displacement was asymmetric, measuring 4 mm on the lateral side and 1.5 mm medially. The toed-in model also produced more rapid and severe laminar injury to the hoof.

— Shahkhosravi NA et al. EVJ 2022:13887

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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