Surgical Management of Proximal Splint Bone Fractures in the Horse


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Fractures of Metacarpal and Metatarsal II and IV (the splint bones) were treated in 283 horses over an 11 year period. In 21 cases the proximal portion of the fractured bone was stabilized with metallic implants. One or more cortical bone screws were used in 11 horses, and bone plates were applied in 11 horses. One horse received both treatments. Complications of screw fixation included bone failure, implant failure, radiographic lucency around the screws, and proliferative new bone at the ostectomy site. Only two of the horses treated with screw fixation returned to their intended use. Complications of plate fixation included partial fixation failure (backing out of screws), wound drainage, and proliferative bony response around the plate. Six of the 11 horses treated by plate fixation returned to their intended use. The authors recommend consideration of plate fixation techniques for repair of fractures in the proximal third of the splint bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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