External fixation

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Outcomes associated with arthrodesis of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint in Quarter Horses used for Western performance activities are well documented but little is known regarding outcomes for other types of horses.

OBJECTIVES: To identify factors associated with outcomes, including breed and activity, after arthrodesis of the PIP joint in Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

OBJECTIVES: To describe a technique for surgical placement of a modified kerf-cut cylinder for the purpose of arthrodesis across the equine centrodistal and tarsometatarsal joints.

Authors: E. G. Porter, L. C. Cuddy, A. S. Graham, D. J. Reese, M. B. Porter, A. J. Morton, D. D. Lewis
Journal: Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology

A five-week-old American Quarter Horse colt was presented for evaluation of a left hindlimb deformity and lameness. Radiographs of the left hindlimb revealed a varus deformity with recurvatum originating in the mid-diaphysis of the third metatarsal bone. Surgical correction was undertaken by performing an osteotomy through the centre of rotation of angulation located within the mid-diaphysis of the third metatarsal bone, and a four-ring hinged circular external fixator construct was applied. Distraction of the osteotomy site was performed over an 11 day period.

Authors: Fabrice Rossignol, Amélie Vitte and Josef Boening
Journal: Veterinary Surgery


To (1) report a modified transfixation pin cast technique, using dorsal recumbency for fracture reduction, distal positioning of the pins in the epiphysis and distal metaphysis, and a hybrid cast, combining plaster of Paris (POP) and fiberglass casting, and (2) report outcome in 11 adult horses.
Study Design

Case series.

Adult horses (n = 11) with comminuted phalangeal fractures.

Authors: John C. Janicek, Scott R. McClure, Timothy B. Lescun, Stefan Witte, Loren Schultz, Carly R. Whittal, Canaan Whitfield-Cargile
Journal: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—To determine the frequency of and risk factors for complications associated with casts in horses.

Design—Multicenter retrospective case series

Animals—398 horses with a half-limb or full-limb cast treated at 1 of 4 hospitals

Journal: Equine Veterinary Journal

Reasons for performing the study: Larger superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injuries have a poorer prognosis than smaller lesions. During the inflammatory phase enlargement of the initial lesion is frequently noted, with biomechanical loading being recently proposed to play an important role.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of lower limb cast immobilisation on tendon lesion propagation in an equine model of surgically induced SDFT injury.

Authors: P. C. Compston, R. J. Payne
Journal: Equine Veterinary Education

A variety of methods are described for managing distal limb flexural deformities in the foal, including intravenous oxytetracycline and splint or cast use. This case series describes a novel technique that creates an ‘active tension-extension splint’ by wiring the toe into a custom-made fibreglass splint and therefore into active extension. A dorsal fibreglass splint is made by halving a cast that is set around the affected leg with padding underneath it, so that it is sculpted to a more appropriate anatomical shape.

Authors: Timothy B. Lescun, BVSc, MS; Debra K. Baird, DVM, PhD; Laurinda J. Oliver, BVSc, MS; Stephen B. Adams, DVM, MS; Jan F. Hawkins, DVM; George E. Moore, DVM, PhD
Journal: American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective—To determine the extent to which a hydroxyapatite coating promotes pin stability in the third metacarpal bone during transfixation casting in horses.

Animals—14 adult horses.

Journal: Equine Veterinary Journal

Reasons for performing study: To determine the incidence of support limb laminitis among horses treated with half limb, full limb or transfixation pin casts and determine potential risk factors.

Methods: Medical records of 113 horses treated with half limb, full limb or transfixation pin casts at an equine referral hospital from 2000 to 2009 were reviewed. Associations between potential risk factors and development of support limb laminitis were evaluated by bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses.

Authors: Janik C. Gasiorowski VMD, Dean W. Richardson DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Raymond C. Boston MS, PhD, Thomas P. Schaer VMD
Journal: Veterinary Surgery

To determine changes in drill bit performance attributable to application of a triaxially resilient, hard-carbon thin film.
Study Design
In vitro mechanical study.