Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Carpus: fracture - comminuted

Contributor(s): Steve Adair, Chris Whitton, Graham Munroe

Introduction

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Comminuted carpal bone fractures generally occur through acute trauma/impact, including kicks, falls and collisions, and can involve more than one bone/carpal row, leading to carpal instability.
  • Racehorses are most commonly affected but any breed may be subject to the necessary trauma, particularly when turned out with other animals.

Predisposing factors

  • Chronic carpal disease may precede comminuted fractures in racehorses.

Pathophysiology

  • The most common combination of fractures involves the third carpal bone (usually radial and intermediate facets) and either the radial or intermediate carpal bone, or both. Occasionally the ulnar carpal and fourth carpal bones are involved which leads to carpal valgus deformity.
  • Comminution of one bone, such as the third carpal bone, can be seen in racehorses including Standardbreds Standardbred.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Curtiss A L et al (2018) Pancarpal and partial carpal arthrodesis with 3 locking compression plates in 6 horses. Vet Surg. 47 (5), 692-704 PubMed.
  • Waselau M et al (2006) Computed tomographic documentation of a comminuted fourth carpal bone fracture associated with carpal instability treated by partial carpal arthrodesis in an Arabian filly. Vet Surg. 35 (7), 618-25 PubMed.
  • May K Aet al (2001) Computed tomographic imaging of comminuted carpal fractures in a gelding. Equine Vet Educ 13 (6), 303-308 VetMedResource.
  • Schneider R K et al (1988) Incidence, location and classification of 371 third carpal bone fractures in 313 horses. Equine Vet J 6, 33-42 PubMed.
  • Palmer S E (1986) Prevalence of carpal fractures in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses. JAVMA 188 (10), 1171-1173 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Ruggles A J (1999) The Carpus. In: Equine Surgery. Eds: J A Auer & J A Stick. W B Saunders, USA. pp 821-831.


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