Repair of Transverse Process Fractures of Multiple Lumbar Vertebrae in an Adult Dairy Cow

Authors: 
Sylvain Nichols DMV, MS, Diplomate ACVS, Susan R. Vogel DVM, Hélène Lardé DMV
Volume: 
40
Number: 
2
Pages: 
240-243
Journal: 
Veterinary Surgery
Date: 
February 2011

Objective: To report lumbar vertebrae transverse process fracture repair using a narrow 3.5 mm limited contact dynamic compression plate (LC-DCP) in an adult dairy cow.

Study Design: Case report.

Animals: A 3-year-old Holstein cow.

Methods: Under general anesthesia, fractured left transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae 2–4 were repaired using internal fixation. A narrow 3.5 mm LC-DCP was contoured and secured to the spinous process and the transverse process of each fractured vertebra.

Results: Fractured transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae were successfully repaired and the cow discharged 10 days after surgery. At 10 months after surgery, the cow was declared reserved champion at a regional show.

Conclusion: A paramedian approach and muscle splitting can be used to repair multiple lumbar transverse process fractures using internal fixation with an excellent cosmetic outcome.