Equine Residents Win Orthopedic Research Awards

horses grazing

Drs. Jannah Pye and Tom Cullen, equine surgery residents at the UC Davis veterinary hospital, were recently awarded the Mark S. Bloomberg Memorial Resident Research Award by the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS). The two were among a handful of residents throughout the country awarded the prize. They were recognized in February at the VOS Annual Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, before the COVID-19 pandemic caused all veterinary conferences to cease in-person activities.

Dr. Pye presented her research “Comparison of Drilling, Screw Insertion and Pullout Variables of Biaxial and Uniaxial Thread Self-Tapping 3.5 mm Cortical Bone Screws in Cadaveric Equine Third Metacarpal Bone.”

Dr. Jannah Pye
Dr. Jannah Pye

The objective of Dr. Pye’s research was to investigate the effect of screw thread geometry on the holding power of screws in equine bone and its potential to improve outcomes in fracture repair. She achieved this by comparing the drilling, screw insertion and pullout variables between a recently developed biaxial thread bone screw (BTS) and a uniaxial thread screw in the equine third metacarpal bone. Her research concluded that the BTS drill bit demonstrated improved drilling properties. The greater BTS insertion torque may reflect greater bone engagement. Screw pullout properties were not different other than initial construct stiffness.

Dr. Cullen presented “Evaluation of Communication between the Equine Tarsocrural and Talocalcaneal Joints Using Intraarticular Contrast Enhanced CT and Methylene Blue Stain.”

Dr. Tom Cullen
Dr. Tom Cullen

His objective was to examine communication of the equine tarsocrural joint with the talocalcaneal joint using intraarticular contrast CT and methylene blue dye. His research concluded that methylene blue dye confirmed tarsocrural-talocalcaneal joint communication in all cases studied; the medial facet appears to have a tighter articulation. It was also noted that CT was poorly sensitive for detection of synovial communication.

The award is named for the late Dr. Mark Bloomberg, a former VOS president, longstanding member, contributor, and supporter. He had special interests in orthopedics, especially sports medicine, and made outstanding contributions to this area in the clinical and research settings. Dr. Bloomberg was also a tremendous supporter and mentor to residents.

Support for their research was provided by UC Davis’ Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Center for Equine Health, and J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory.

Drs. Pye and Cullen are the first UC Davis residents to win the Bloomberg award since its inception in 2012.

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