Our objective in this study was to examine the effect of gelatin hydrogel (GH) sheets containing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on healing of proximal sesamoid bone transverse fractures in the horse. Ten healthy adult Thoroughbreds were used. The lateral proximal sesamoid bone of the left forelimb and the medial proximal sesamoid bone of the right forelimb were osteotomized, while the horses were under general anesthesia, and subsequently repaired by lag screw fixation using a single 4.5-mm cortical screw. A GH sheet containing 100 μg of bFGF was then sutured to the synovial membrane adjacent to the osteotomized proximal sesamoid bone. In the control group, the fracture was fixed with a lag screw, and the articular capsule was sutured. Fracture healing was assessed by radiographic examination once a week for 16 weeks after the operation. Radiographic examination of bone healing revealed significantly lower demineralization of the fracture line in the GH sheet-treated group than in the control group. The rate of demineralization of the fracture line in the GH sheet-treated group was significantly lower than that in the control group at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after the operation. In this study, we demonstrated that the use of a GH sheet containing bFGF promotes healing of proximal sesamoid bone fracture in the horse. Therefore, it is believed that this treatment strategy would be useful for quick recovery from bone fracture in the horse.
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science