Transfixation Pinning and Casting of a Comminuted Metacarpal Fracture in a 870 kg Bull

Authors: 
Johann Kofler, Gaby Wetchy and Gudrun Schöffmann
Volume: 
43
Number: 
8
Pages: 
1014-1019
Journal: 
Veterinary Surgery
Date: 
November 2014

Objective

To report metacarpal fracture repair in a bull.

Study Design

Clinical report.

Animals

Simmental bull (n = 1; 870 kg).

Methods

A comminuted right metacarpal fracture was repaired using 2 transfixation pins (6 mm diameter) through the distal metaphysis and diaphysis of the radius and a full limb synthetic resin cast.

Results

Slight bending of both pins occurred 1 day after surgery. Both pins were loose and removed at 31 days and a full-limb cast reapplied. The cast was changed at approximately −4 week intervals. On day 50, the right carpus had moderate overextension and a valgus deformity. An exercise program was started on day 62, and on day 110, the cast was replaced with a Robert-Jones-bandage. At 130 days there was circumferential callus formation and the bull was discharged. At 6.5 months, overextension of the right carpus had resolved and carpal valgus had improved. The bull returned to at 7.5 months after surgery, and was successfully used for 4 years.

Conclusion

For highly valuable cattle like this breeding bull, a surgical treatment of such a fracture should be attempted despite a primarily poor prognosis.