Hoof Conformation and Palmar Process Fractures of the Distal Phalanx in Warmblood Foals

Adrienne S. Bhatnagar, R. Scott Pleasant, John J. Dascanio, Stephanie R. Lewis, A. Grey, Olivia E. Schroeder, Kristine Doyle, Jake Hall, Rebecca K. Splan

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6 Scopus citations


This study evaluated onset and incidence of palmar process fractures in foals and investigated corresponding changes in hoof conformation. Radiographs of 17 warmblood foals were taken at 1 week and at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 months of age and examined for evidence of palmar process fractures. Hoof parameters were measured from the radiographs, and comparisons were made between fractured and nonfractured feet. All foals suffered at least one fracture during the study period, with an average age of 3.68 ± 0.20 months at fracture occurrence. Hoof conformation and fracture occurrence were not significantly correlated. Foals consistently demonstrated higher lateral heights in the right foot and higher medial heights in the left foot. Hoof angle increased until 3 months of age and then gradually dropped. Hoof-pastern axis exhibited a broken forward conformation, but approached a more correct conformation by 12 months of age. There was a significant reduction in variation of variables for hoof and pastern angle in both feet, and hoof-pastern axis in the right foot. Hoof conformation does not appear to be a causative factor of palmar process fractures. It is possible that these fractures are a normal part of bone remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Bone remodeling
  • Coffin bone
  • Distal phalanx
  • Horse
  • Ossicles


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