Injections in joints a major contributor to bone injury: study

Racing Victoria’s vision is to be a leader in equine welfare and build a racing culture in which the safety and welfare of the racehorse is paramount to all participants and owners.

A key aspect of Racing Victoria’s equine welfare activity is the $5.25m equine limb injury prevention research being undertaken by the University of Melbourne (UoM). 

In conjunction with Racing Victoria, the UoM research team lead by Professor Chris Whitton recently released a paper outlining the findings of a study which found an association into the correlation between the injection of corticosteroids into joints and injury. 

The study performed by UoM found that horses receiving two or more injections of corticosteroids into joints were far more likely to suffer musculoskeletal injury than those who were not. 

While corticosteroids can be beneficial in reducing inflammation, they also reduce pain and allow racing and training to continue. Continued racing and training means that bone damage does not repair properly, and further damage accumulates.

The research team has found that three month spell may be a safer and more economical option than joint injections, when injury first appears. It also found that the more often a horse is treated, the greater the risk.

To learn more about the study, please click here.