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Navicular bone shape is genetically determined, and some conformations carry a higher risk for development of navicular disease.
To monitor the development and modeling of the shape of the navicular bone, researchers in The Netherlands obtained serial radiographs in 19 Dutch warmblood foals, starting at 1 month of age and then at one month intervals until the foals were 11 months old.
They found that the navicular bone adopts its mature radiological appearance during the first year of life. Because the mature shape of the proximal articular border is inherited and develops so early, the authors concluded that force-dependent shape development is unlikely.
They suggest that any predisposing role that navicular bone shape has on the development of navicular disease would be explained by shape-dependent distribution of biomechanical forces, and that radiographic evaluation at 1 year of age could identify individual and breed susceptibility for the development of navicular disease.
—Dik KJ, van den Belt AJM, Enzerink E, van Weeren PR. The Radiographic Development Of The Distal And Proximal Double Contours Of The Equine Navicular Bone On Dorsoproximal-Palmarodistal Oblique (Upright Pedal) Radiographs, From Age 1 To 11 Months. Equine Veterinary Journal 2001; 33: 70-74.
In an effort to make forelimb lameness evaluations more objective, researchers at the University of California, Davis adapted a human in-shoe pressure measurement system to quantify ground reaction forces in horses.
This system has advantages over other techniques currently used in horses, as it employs an ultra-thin…