Use of locking compression plates in ulnar fractures of 18 horses

Jacobs CC, Levine DG, Richardson DW. Vet Surg. 2017 Feb; 46 (2): 242-248.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the outcome, clinical findings, and complications associated with the use of the locking compression plate (LCP) for various types of ulnar fractures in horses.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

SAMPLE POPULATION: Client owned horses (n = 18).

METHODS: Medical records, radiographs, and follow-up for horses having an ulnar fracture repaired using at least 1 LCP were reviewed. Fifteen of 18 horses had fractures of the ulna only, and 3 horses had fractures of the ulna and proximal radius.

RESULTS: All 18 horses were discharged from the hospital. Complications occurred in 5 horses; incisional infection (n = 4, 22%), implant-associated infection (n = 2, 11%), and colic (n = 1, 6%). Follow-up was available for all horses at a range of 13-120 months and 15 horses (83%) were sound for their intended purpose and 3 horses (17%) were euthanatized. One horse was euthanatized for complications associated with original injury and surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: The LCP is a viable method of internal fixation for various types of ulnar fractures, with most horses in this series returning to soundness.