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Equine Vet J. 2018 Sep;50(5):629-635. doi: 10.1111/evj.12811. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Surgical repair of propagating condylar fractures of the third metacarpal/metatarsal bones with cortical screws placed in lag fashion in 26 racehorses (2007-2015).

Author information

1
Pole Equin, Vetagro Sup, Lyon, France.
2
Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK.
3
Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
4
Turtle Valley Equine Hospital, Delavan, Wisconsin, USA.
5
Milton Equine Hospital, Campbellville, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the recommendation of plate fixation for propagating condylar fractures of the third metacarpal (McIII) or third metatarsal bone (MtIII), lag screw fixation can be a viable surgical option.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate short-term outcome and long-term racing performance of horses that underwent lag screw fixation of long condylar fractures of the McIII/MtIII.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective case series.

METHODS:

Medical records, post-surgical racing performance and outcome of 26 horses with propagating fractures of the medial and/or lateral condyle of McIII/MtIII were reviewed. Medical information included were age, breed, sex, physical examination at admission, circumstances of fracture, radiographic evaluation, anaesthesia and recovery records, surgical and post-operative management, as well as complications. Outcome included racing data and information from telephone interviews.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six horses (9 Standardbreds and 17 Thoroughbreds) were admitted with a long condylar fracture of the McIII/MtIII. Fore- and hindlimbs were equally represented with the left hindlimb being more frequently involved. Most of the fractures had a spiralling component (76%) and four (15%) were comminuted. Fifteen (58%) horses raced post-surgery including nine Standardbreds (100%) and six Thoroughbreds (35%). Twelve of them were placed in at least one race and 11 won at least once. One horse sustained a severe complication in recovery. No significant difference was observed in the racing performances before and after surgery.

MAIN LIMITATIONS:

Follow-up method and duration were not standardised and there is a low number of cases with six surgeons.

CONCLUSIONS:

Long condylar fractures can be repaired using lag fashion technique combined with a half-limb or full-limb tight cast for recovery as a good surgical alternative. Similar results to plate fixation can be expected, with a return to racing of more than 50%, and the prognosis being even better for pacers.

KEYWORDS:

fracture; horse; lag screw; metacarpus; metatarsus; propagating

PMID:
29350412
DOI:
10.1111/evj.12811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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