Fractures less than 1 cm in length can be treated by stall rest alone in racing breeds, but should be treated by interfragmentary screw fixation in Warmblood horses. Fractures greater than 1 cm in length are most appropriately treated with internal fixation.
However, healing is more rapid and in a higher quality when internal fixation is used. Providing the horse’s comfort is good, the decision for nonsurgical or surgical treatment is based on owner’s wishes, treatment costs, the healing time acceptable to the owner, and the surgeon’s advice according to his/her personal experiences.
|Warmblood horses and racing horses.|
Fractures greater than 1 cm in length are most appropriately treated with internal fixation.
Internal fixation is recommended to improve the horse’s comfort, reduce the risk of delayed union or chronic lameness, and to accelerate the healing process.
Risks of nonsurgical treatment
Dorsoplantar radiographic projection showing delayed union 90 days after initiation of nonsurgical treatment. Note the increased bone sclerosis along the proximal aspect of the proximal phalanx.
|Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills|
|Some specialized surgical experience|
|Highly experienced and skilled surgeon|
|Basic equipment only|
|Simple surgical and imaging resources|
|Full specialized surgical and imaging resources|