Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Femur: diaphysis - fracture repair

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Chris Whitton, David G Wilson, Jarred Williams

Introduction

  • Diaphyseal femoral fractures in foals are unstable, commonly comminuted and may have overriding fracture ends due to contraction of the quadriceps.
  • Internal fixation is necessary to restore function and normal limb length.
  • 75% of femoral fractures in foals are comminuted.

Uses

Advantages

  • Alignment of fracture fragments.
  • Stability at fracture site.

Disadvantages

  • Invasive surgery and associated risks of iatrogenic infection.
  • Requires general anesthesia.
  • Reduction of fracture often difficult.
  • External coaptation is not possible.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • 50% → full bony union.
  • 80% of those with full bony union will perform to expectations.
  • Surgical removal of implants not required - they are covered by cortex.
  • Foals <3 months of age - good.
  • Foals <220 kg increased chance of survival.
  • Guarded - distal physeal fractures.
  • Repair not possible in adult horses.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Glass K & Watts A E (2017) Diagnosis and treatment considerations for nonphyseal long bone fractures in the foal. Vet Clin Equine 33 (2), 431-438 PubMed.
  • Bumbacher S et al (2014) Treatment of a femoral fracture with a titanium locking compression plate distal femur (LCP-DF) in a young donkey. Equine Vet Educ 26 (1), 27-31 VetMedResource.
  • Barr A R S (2014) Diaphyseal femoral fractures in young horses. Equine Vet Educ 26 (1), 32-33 VetMedResource.
  • Watkins J (2006) Etiology, diagnosis and treatment of long bone fractures in foals. Clin Tech Equine Pract 5 (4), 296-308 VetMedResource.
  • Hance S R et al (1992) Retrospective study of 38 cases of femur fractures in horses less than one year of age. Equine Vet J 24 (5), 357-363 PubMed.


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