Incomplete palmar fracture of the proximal extremity of the third metacarpal bone in horses: ten cases (1981-1986).

Kevin C K Lloyd, P. Koblik, C. Ragle, J. D. Wheat, J. Lakritz

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In 4 adult horses, simple, nondisplaced, incomplete fracture of the proximal extremity of the third metacarpal bone (MC3) was identified radiographically only on the dorsopalmar projection. Lameness was slight to moderate. Although nerve blocks of the foot and fetlock did not alter the lameness, high palmar regional nerve block improved the gait in 1 of the 2 horses on which it was performed. Pain on palpation or swollen distal accessory (inferior check) ligament, flexor tendons, and suspensory ligament were not found in any horse. The fracture was localized to the palmar surface of the proximal extremity of the MC3 on the basis of the intense uptake of radiopharmaceutical (99MTc-labeled sodium medronate) observed in that area during the soft tissue and delayed bone phases of a nuclear scintigraphic examination (nuclear scan) performed concurrently with radiography. Of 4 horses evaluated 6 months after the initial diagnosis, 3 had medullary sclerosis without radiographic evidence of fracture; results of follow-up nuclear scintigraphy performed in one of these horses at the same time were normal. Incomplete fracture also was suspected in another 6 adult horses with clinical lameness referable to the proximal extremity of the MC3. Although a fracture line could not be seen radiographically, trabecular hypertrophy and/or medullary sclerosis of the proximal extremity of the MC3 were detected on the dorsopalmar projection. Further, during nuclear scintigraphy, an intense uptake of the radiopharmaceutical was observed on the palmar aspect of the proximal extremity of the MC3 in all 6 horses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-803
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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