Treatment of radial fractures in adult horses: an analysis of 15 clinical cases. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fifteen cases of radial fractures in adult horses weighing more than 300 kg are discussed. Four of the horses were destroyed on humane grounds immediately because of a poor prognosis and expense of internal fixation; and two horses at five days and five weeks, respectively after treatment by cast application was initiated. Internal fixation was used in nine horses but of these only two horses recovered completely and resumed their former activities. In eight cases, two plates were applied, one lateral or medial and the other cranial. The internal fixation techniques of all nine horses were scrutinised and suggestions made for the future treatment of radial fractures. These suggestions are (1) the use of ASIF 5.5 mm cortical bone screws using the total width or thickness of the bone in each case. (2) Application of the dynamic condylar screw with its plate in distal or proximal fractures to allow more support. (3) Incorporation of a cancellous bone graft to the fracture. (4) Possible table recovery to prevent breakdown of the fixation during recovery. It is important that bone plates are applied over the total length of the bone. The fact that only two out of 15 horses survived and recovered completely underlines the problems associated with treatment of radial fractures in the adult horse.

published proceedings

  • Equine Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Auer, J. A., & Watkins, J. P.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Auer, JA||Watkins, JP

publication date

  • March 1987