Musculoskeletal modeling and dynamic simulation of the thoroughbred equine forelimb during stance phase of the gallop

Michael D. Swanstrom, Laura Zarucco, Mont Hubbard, Susan M Stover, David A. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Because thoroughbred racehorses have a high incidence of forelimb musculoskeletal injuries, a model was desired to screen potential risk factors for injuries. This paper describes the development of a musculoskeletal model of the thoroughbred forelimb and a dynamic simulation of the motion of the distal segments during the stance phase of high-speed (18 m/s) gallop. The musculoskeletal model is comprised of segment, joint, muscle-tendon, and ligament information. The dynamic simulation incorporates a proximal forward-driving force, a distal ground reaction force model, muscle activations, and initial positions and velocities. A simulation of the gallop after transection of an accessory ligament demonstrated increased soft tissue strains in the remaining support structures of the distal forelimb. These data were consistent with those previously reported from in vitro experimental data and supported usefulness of the model for the study of distal forelimb soft tissue mechanics during the stance phase of the gallop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-328
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics

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