Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Sacrum: fracture

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Chris Whitton

Introduction

  • Cause: trauma - sitting down, backing - sudden impact.
  • Signs: variable, pain and swelling over croup, loss of tail and/or anal sphincter tone, fecal retention, paresthesia, hyperesthesia of perineum and over sacrum, sensory and motor deficits in hindlimb.
  • Diagnosis: rectal palpation   Musculoskeletal: rectal palpation  , radiography , venography, electromyography , myelography .
  • Treatment: pain relief, anti-inflammatories (eg, phenylbutazone   Phenylbutazone  , flunixin meglumine   Flunixin meglumine  or ketaprofen/vedaprofen   Ketoprofen  ), surgery - decompression, laminectomy, tail amputation.
  • Prognosis: unknown.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Sitting, backing into hard object suddenly.
  • Injudicious use of tail rope.

Pathophysiology

  • Impact on sacrum and caudal vertebrae   →   :
    • If cranial sacrum, protected by tuber sacrale   →   sacroiliac subluxation   Pelvis: trauma - sacroiliac    →   chronic hindlimb lameness.
    • Tail head injury   →   acts as lever   →   injury to caudal vertebra and caudal sacral region.
  • Sacrum contains the S4, S5 and caudal cord segments, plus the termination of the cauda equina - peripheral nerves to perineum   Perineal nerve: distribution  as well as sacral and lumbar nerves contributing to the sciatic nerve.

Adult

  • Sacrum consists of five fused sacral vertebrae.
  • Injury concentrates on caudal part of sacrum.

Foals

  • Sacral vertebrae operate independently.
  • Injury may affect individual vertebra.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Nixon A J (1996)Fractures of the Vertebrae. In:Equine Fracture Repair. Ed: Nixon A J. W B Saunders Co, Philadelphia.


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