Jump to Main Content
Computed Tomographic Documentation of a Comminuted Fourth Carpal Bone Fracture Associated with Carpal Instability Treated by Partial Carpal Arthrodesis in an Arabian Filly
- WASELAU, MARTIN, BERTONE, ALICIA L., GREEN, ERIC M.
- Veterinary surgery 2006 v.35 no.7 pp. 618-625
- computed tomography, disease detection, bone types, image analysis, Arabian (horse breed), fillies, case studies, radiography, fracture fixation, bone fractures
- To report treatment of a unilateral comminuted fourth carpal bone (C4) fracture associated with carpal instability by partial carpal arthrodesis (PCA) of the middle carpal joint (MCJ) and carpometacarpal joint (CMCJ). Case Report. An 8-month-old Arabian filly. A C4 slab fracture was diagnosed radiographically; however, fracture comminution was conclusively diagnosed after computed tomographic (CT) imaging. PCA of the MCJ and CMCJ was performed with 2 narrow dynamic compression plates. PCA provided appropriate carpal stability and correct limb alignment immediately after surgery. Complete bony fusion with substantial carpal flexion and no lameness at walk or light trot was observed 8 months after surgery. Carpal CT was successfully used to define fracture configuration after standard radiographic examination failed to delineate comminution. PCA was selected because of joint instability and lateral carpal collapse of MCJ and CMCJ and can be successfully used to treat comminuted C4 slab fractures associated with carpal instability. Moderate MCJ osteoarthritis without radiocarpal joint involvement allows pain-free, substantial carpal flexion and thus, return to low-level pleasure riding may be possible. CT imaging may more adequately characterize traumatic carpal bone injury, particularly, when carpal bone fracture configuration cannot be determined on standard radiographs. Early PCA of the MCJ and CMCJ is an useful alternative to treat comminuted C4 slab fractures that cannot be reconstructed.