Use of transfixation pin casts to treat adult horses with comminuted phalangeal fractures: 20 cases (1993-2003).

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 80523-1620, USA.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Impact Factor: 1.72). 09/2006; 229(5):725-30. DOI: 10.2460/javma.229.5.725
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the clinical applications, short and long-term survival, and complications of using transfixation pin casts for treatment of comminuted phalangeal fractures in adult horses.
Retrospective case series.
20 horses.
Medical records were reviewed to obtain information regarding signalment, fracture location, treatment methods, complications, and short-term survival (discharge from hospital). Long-term follow-up information was obtained via contact with owners or trainers.
12 fractures were in a hind limb, and 8 were in a forelimb. Fourteen fractures occurred in a middle phalanx, and 6 occurred in a proximal phalanx. Eleven fractures were treated with internal fixation combined with transfixation pin casts, and 9 fractures were treated with transfixation pin casts alone. Transfixation pin casts were maintained for a mean of 52 days (median, 49 days; range, 1 to 131 days). Fourteen (70%) horses were discharged from the hospital, whereas 6 (30%) were euthanized during the treatment period. Reasons for euthanasia included secondary fracture of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone, avascularity of the distal aspect of the limb associated with an open fracture, and displacement of the fracture after transfixation pin cast removal. A significantly greater number of horses was discharged from the hospital when the transfixation pin cast was maintained for > 40 days, compared with those in which the transfixation pin cast was maintained for < 40 days.
Results suggested that horses should be maintained in a transfixation pin cast for a minimum of 40 days, as this was associated with an increase in short-term survival without an increased risk of catastrophic failure.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To compare the torsional strength of calf metatarsal bones with defects produced by removal of 2 different implants. STUDY DESIGN: In vitro mechanical comparison of paired bones with bicortical defects resulting from the implantation of 2 different external fixation systems: the transfixation pin (TP) and the pin sleeve system (PS). SAMPLE POPULATION: Neonatal calf metatarsal bones (n = 6 pairs). METHODS: From each pair, 1 bone was surgically instrumented with 2 PS implants and the contralateral bone with 2 TP implants. Implants were removed immediately leaving bicortical defects at identical locations between paired metatarsi. Each bone was tested in torque until failure. The mechanical variables statistically compared were the torsional stiffness, the torque and angle at failure, and work to failure. RESULTS: For TP and PS constructs, respectively, there were no significant differences between construct types for any of the variables tested. Mean ± SD torsional stiffness: 5.50 ± 2.68 and 5.35 ± 1.79 (Nm/°), P = .75; torque: 57.42 ± 14.84 and 53.43 ± 10.16 (Nm); P = .34; angle at failure: 14.76 ± 4.33 and 15.45 ± 4.84 (°), P = .69; and work to failure 7.45 ± 3.19 and 8.89 ± 3.79 (J), P = .17). CONCLUSIONS: Bicortical defects resulting from the removal of PS and TP implants equally affect the investigated mechanical properties of neonate calf metatarsal bones.
    Veterinary Surgery 12/2012; · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To (1) report a modified transfixation pin cast technique, using dorsal recumbency for fracture reduction, distal positioning of the pins in the epiphysis and distal metaphysis, and a hybrid cast, combining plaster of Paris (POP) and fiberglass casting, and (2) report outcome in 11 adult horses. Case series. Adult horses (n = 11) with comminuted phalangeal fractures. Horses were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. The phalangeal fracture was reduced by limb traction using a cable attached to the hoof. Screw fixation in lag fashion of fracture fragments was performed when possible. Transfixation casting was performed using two 6.3 mm positive profile centrally threaded pins with the 1st pin placed in the epiphysis of the metacarpus/tarsus at the center of, or slightly proximal to, the condylar fossa and the 2nd one 3-4 cm proximal. A hybrid cast was applied. Forelimbs were involved in 9 horses and the hind limb in 2. Pins were maintained for a minimum of 6 weeks. No pin loosening was observed at the time of removal (6-8 weeks). A pony fractured the distal aspect of the metacarpus at the proximal pin. Nine horses survived (82%); none of the horses developed septic arthritis despite the distal location of the distal pin, close to the fetlock joint. This modified transfixation pin casting technique was associated with good pin longevity and could reduce the risk of secondary pin hole fractures and pin loosening.
    Veterinary Surgery 11/2013; · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective To (1) compare strain on the dorsal aspect of the proximal phalanx (P1) between 2 types of transfixation pin casts (TPC) and (2) evaluate the change in strain as the pins are removed.Study DesignExperimental.AnimalsEquine cadaver forelimbs (n = 10 pair).Methods Each limb of a pair was assigned to 1 of 2 TPC constructs. Construct 1 consisted of a TPC with 2 positive profile, centrally threaded pins placed in the distal aspect of the third metacarpus (MC3) and construct 2 had 4 smooth Steinmann pins placed similarly. A strain gauge was mounted on P1 and axial compression (444.8–5337.9 N) applied. One forelimb of each pair was tested as a control with no construct in place. The 2 TPC groups were retested after removal of 1 proximal (n = 5 limbs) or distal (n = 5) pin from construct 1, and 2 proximal (n = 5) or distal (n = 5) pins from construct 2. Limb specimens were retested after all pins had been removed.ResultsThere was a significant decrease in strain between both TPC constructs and the non-casted control at all loads except 444.8 N. There was no significant difference in strain reduction between the 2 TPC constructs. After proximal pin removal there was a 7% (construct 1) and 10% (construct 2) increase in strain. When distal pins were removed there was a 0.5% (construct 1) and 1% (construct 2) increase in strain. The difference between proximal and distal pin removal was only statistically different from each other at high loads.Conclusion Both constructs provided equivalent reduction in strain. Removal of the proximal pin(s) increased the strain.
    Veterinary Surgery 04/2014; · 1.24 Impact Factor