Complete fractures of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone in horses: 25 cases (1980-1996). Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: To compare treatments of complete fractures of the third metacarpal (MC) or metatarsal (MT) bone in horses and to identify factors that could impact prognosis. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. ANIMALS: 25 horses with fractures of the third MC or MT bone that were treated by use of internal fixation, external coaptation, or both. PROCEDURE: Medical records from the Veterinary Medical Data Base of horses treated for fractures of third MC or MT bone at Texas A&M University from 1980 to 1994 and Purdue University from 1980 to 1996 were reviewed. Information on signalment, results of physical and radiographic examinations, treatment, and outcome were obtained. For horses that had radiographic evidence of healing, long-term follow-up information was obtained by telephone contact with owners or referring veterinarians. RESULTS: Age, sex, weight, and limb affected were not related to outcome; however, affected horses were younger than the general hospital populations. Seventeen horses had open fractures at referral. Infection was the most common complication after surgery, with open fractures more likely to become infected. Nonunion in an infected fracture was the most common reason for postoperative failure (7 horses). Long-term follow-up was available for 16 horses; 11 of these had no complications related to surgical repair. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Fractures of the MC or MT bone are not always associated with a poor prognosis in horses. Proper case selection, rigid fracture stabilization, and efforts to prevent or treat infection will improve success rate.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • McClure, S. R., Watkins, J. P., Glickman, N. W., Hawkins, J. F., & Glickman, L. T

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • McClure, SR||Watkins, JP||Glickman, NW||Hawkins, JF||Glickman, LT

publication date

  • September 1998