Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Tarsus: arthrodesis

Contributor(s): Bud G E Fackelman, Graham Munroe, Chris Whitton

Introduction

  • Surgical fixation of the joint by promoting the joint surfaces to fuse.
  • The centrodistal (distal intertarsal) joint and the tarsometatarsal joints are low motion joints amenable to surgical fixation to overcome problems associated with degenerative joint disease   Musculoskeletal: osteoarthritis (joint disease)  .
  • Drilling of articular cartilage allows cortical bone to bridge the joints and eliminate movement, resulting in reduction of pain.
  • Plating achieves immediate stability, speeds healing, and eliminates the post-operative pain often seen when drilling alone is used.

Uses

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

  • Good - for athletic soundness; up to 85% return to full function (lower in high-performance athletic horses).
  • Time for return of soundness vaires from a few weeks to a year.
  • Chemical fusion usually results in joint fusion within 6 months. Some residual lameness can persist.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Levine D G & Richardson D W (2007) Clinical use of the locking compression plate (LCP) in horses: a retrospective study of 31 cases (2004-2006). Equine Vet J 39 (5), 401-406 PubMed.
  • Scruton C, Baxter G M, Cross M W & Frisbie D D (2005) Comparison of intra-articular drilling and diode laser treatment for arthrodesis of the distal tarsal joints in normal horses. Equine Vet J 37 (1), 81-86 PubMed.
  • Dechant J E et al (2003) Use of a three-drill-tract technique for arthrodesis of the distal tarsal joints in horses with distal tarsal osteoarthritis: 54 cases (1990-1999). JAVMA 223 (12), 1800-1805 PubMed.
  • Sammut E B et al (1995) Use of sodium monoiodoacetate to fuse the distal hock joints in horses. Australian Vet J 72 (1), 25-28 PubMed.
  • Moll H D et al (1987) Traumatic tarsal luxation repaired without internal fixation in three horses and three ponies. JAVMA 190, 297-300 PubMed.
  • Wyn-Jones G et al (1986) Surgical arthrodesis for the treatment of osteoarthrosis of the proximal intertarsal, distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints in 30 horses - a comparison of four different techniques. Equine Vet J 18, 59-64 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • McIlwraith C W & Robertson J T (1998)Arthrodesis of the Distal Tarsal Joints.In: Equine Surgery - Advanced techniques. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. pp 193-197.
  • Nixon A J (1996)Fractures and Luxations of the Hock.In:Equine Fracture Repair.Ed: Nixon A J. W B Saunders, Philadelphia.


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