Objective To report use of a locking compression plate (LCP) for fetlock arthrodesis in Thoroughbred racehorses after catastrophic disruption of the suspensory apparatus. Study Design Retrospective case study. Animals Racing Thoroughbreds (n=6) with a catastrophic breakdown injury of the suspensory apparatus. Methods Medical records (2004-2006) of horses that had fetlock arthrodesis using an LCP were reviewed. Preoperative recorded variables were: age, gender, affected limb, injury type and occurrence, limb support used and time to surgery. Recorded surgical variables were: implants used and cost, surgery time, and anesthetic recovery method. Postoperative recorded variables included: treatment, physical status, complications, and outcome. Results Of 6 Thoroughbred racehorses that had LCP arthrodesis, 4 were sound for breeding purposes the next year and 2 horses were euthanatized (1 at 16 days, 1 at 68 days) because of proximal interphalangeal joint (PIJ) luxation. No surgical complications were associated with implant application. Postoperative complications were similar to those reported for other arthrodesis techniques. Conclusions LCP is a viable option for fetlock arthrodesis in Thoroughbred racehorses after catastrophic suspensory apparatus disruption. Clinical Relevance Adequate fetlock stability can be achieved with an LCP, and although the repair is likely more stable it is ∼3 times more expensive than using a limited contact dynamic compression plate (LC-DCP) with cortical screws.
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