Oertzenweg 19 b
Tel.+49 30 838 62299 Fax.+49 30 838 62529
In this study the characteristics of kick injuries of bones revealed by x-ray photos are examined. In the first part we attempt to set up an experiment simulating kick injuries and in the second part kick injuries are compared with evaluations of data from wounds of other origin.The experiment will simulate fractures of the cannon bone and the splint bone caused by kicks with a blow from a pendulum. The total of 100 experiments are divided into five groups according to the bones used, the direction of the impact and the type of the trauma: Group I - cannon bone from dorsal, pointed; Group II - cannon bone from lateral, pointed; Group III - cannon bone from dorsal, blunt ; Group IV - cannon bone from lateral, blunt; Group V - splint bone from latero/mediopalmar/plantar, pointed. From these data it is shown that in the case of a dynamic fracture of the cannon bone, the bone always splinters, either resulting in a simple fracture with splintering (79,7%), or in a comminuted fracture. The area of the damage to the bone (cannon bone) is predominantly larger on the side of the point of impact than on he opposite side (53,6%). Fractures of the splint bone are characteristically comminuted or multiple fractures, or simple fractures with splintering. The involvement of the cannon bone through the trauma is actiopathognomic.By evaluating the records of the Equine Veterinary Clinic at Hochmoor and those of the Clinical Radiology Department of the Veterinary School of the FU Berlin it was possible o divide the 246 cases of unclassified wounds into the following groups: GROUP 1 - kick injuries (n=136), GROUP 2 - wounds of other aetiology (n=110), GROUP 2 has been divided into four subgroups: Group 2.1 injuries caused by certain movements (n=26), Group 2.2 - injuries arising during fast work (n=51), Group 2.3 - dynamic traumas (n=19) and Group 2.4 - possible kick injuries (n=14). These groups were compared to obtain a ,picture" of a kick injury, that could be used to assess Group 2.4 (possible kick injuries) as seen in forensic cases. The main characteristics of a kick injury are as follows: kick injuries mostly affect bones of the limbs between the fetlock joint distally and the bones attached to the trunk proximally (ellbow, knee) (80,9%). Exceptions are the relatively superficial area of the shoulder joint, and the bones of the head on account of its mobility. The point of impact is soley influencedby the topographical position of the bones with a preference for latero-palmar/plantar (36,5%) and lateral (23,1%) position. Swelling (55,1%) and skin wounds (53,7%) at the location of the kick are aetiopathognomic bone fractures, the splint bone (30,6%) and the elbow (13,9%) are those most frequently damaged on account of their size and their exposed position followed by the radius (11,1%) and the tibia (10,2%) owing to their topography. Among the different classes of bone damage, the fracture is the most frequent (77,2%), followed by periostium wounds (19,9%) and fissures (2,9*/o). The result of a hoof kick is typically a comminuted fracture (28,7%), an avulsion fracture (18,5%) or a simple fracture with splintering (12,0%). Kick injuries can be distinguished from other types of wounds: Group 2.1 - Injuries caused by certain movements (e.g. jumping) result from twisting and mostly occur in the phalanges (92,3%). These consists predominantly of fissures (38,5%) and single or multiple fractures without splintering (38,5%). In Group 2.2 - Injuries arising during fast work (e.g. trotting races) damage to the phalanges including the sesamoid bones predominates (70,6%). In this group wounds to the splint bone (19,6%) show up in the form of simple fractures without splintering, thus differentiating them easily from kick injuries. The comparison of kick injuries with Group 2.3 dynamic traumas (e.g. falls) shows clearly that it is not possible to differentiate this group from a kick injury except by examing each individual case. Group 2.4 - possible kick injuries (e.g. while grazing with other horses) serves as an example of a case needing forensic examination and will be discussed at the end of the study.