Plate fixation for management of plantar instability of the distal tarsus/proximal metatarsus in 5 horses

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Abstract

Objective:

To report plate fixation for management of traumatic injuries resulting in plantar instability of the proximal intertarsal (PIT) and tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints.

Study Design:

Case series.

Materials and Methods:

Medical records (October 1988 to August 2007) of horses that had internal fixation of the distal aspect of the tarsus were reviewed. Horses that had a broad dynamic compression plate (DCP) or broad locking compression plate (LCP) applied on the plantar-lateral aspect of the tarsus extending from the proximal calcaneus to the proximal one third of the metatarsus were included. Signalment, clinical signs, radiographic findings, time to surgery, implant type, postoperative management and complications were recorded. Long-term (>1 year) outcome was obtained for 4 horses.

Results:

Five horses were treated, 4 had DCP fixation and 1 had LCP fixation. Subluxation of the proximal intertarsal joint was treated in 3 horses and 2 horses had fractures of the distal tarsal bones or proximal aspect of the metatarsus. Perioperative complications included peroneus tertius rupture (2 horses) and postoperative infection.1 Four horses were discharged and 1 year after surgery were considered sound at pasture; 3 horses were sound enough for limited riding.

Conclusions:

Plate fixation provides adequate strength and stability for successful management of injuries that result in plantar instability of the tarsus and proximal metatarsus.

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