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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1992 Jul 1;201(1):114-6.

Comparison of surgical and nonsurgical treatment of humeral fractures in horses: 22 cases (1980-1989).

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


Medical records of 22 horses with humeral fractures were reviewed. The horses were from 2 to 144 months old (mean, 25.8 +/- 37.3 months). Ten horses were treated with stall confinement, 3 were treated surgically, and 9 were euthanatized at the time of diagnosis. Seven of 10 horses treated nonsurgically (stall confinement) were able to be ridden 5 to 12 months after the diagnosis was made (mean, 7.5 +/- 2.6 months). One horse treated nonsurgically was euthanatized 6 months after diagnosis because of laminitis in the contralateral limb. Two horses treated nonsurgically were lost to follow-up evaluation. Two of the 3 horses treated surgically had fractures repaired with Rush pins. The fractured humerus of the third horse was repaired with lag screws. Of the 3 surgically treated horses, 1 was pasture sound 10 months after surgery, but developed varus deviation in the contralateral carpus 6 weeks after repair; 1 horse was euthanatized 2 weeks after surgery because of failure of the implant; and the other horse was sound for riding 10 months after surgery. On the basis of these findings, young horses with humeral fractures that are treated nonsurgically can become sound for riding.

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