Retrospective Evaluation of Tibiotarsal Fractures Treated With Tape Splints in Birds: 86 Cases (20062015)
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Tibiotarsal fractures are a common presentation in small bird species and anecdotally have been reported to carry a good prognosis with proper treatment, such as external coaptation. For this retrospective study, the medical records of 5 institutions were reviewed for tibiotarsal fractures diagnosed in companion birds weighing less than 200 g. A total of 86 cases met the inclusion criteria. Cockatiels ( Nymphicus hollandicus) (24/86) and budgerigars ( Melopsittacus undulatus) (19/86) were the most frequently represented species. Median body weight of the birds included was 72 g (range, 16-182 g). Mid-diaphyseal (46/86) and closed (73/86) fractures with intact, deep pain sensation in the affected limb (69/76) were most frequent. A tape splint alone (79/86) or a tape splint in addition to an intramedullary pin (7/86) were applied in all cases. Median time to fracture stabilization based on palpation was 19 days (range, 7-49 days). In most cases (61/86), the initial splint applied was maintained until fracture healing was complete. A successful outcome was documented in 92% (79/86) of birds. Fractures caused by a dog or cat attack, birds presenting without deep pain sensation in the affected limb, and cases where the splint was removed before 14 days after fixation were associated with a significantly increased risk of complications, resulting in an unsuccessful outcome. The findings of this study indicated that a tape splint is an appropriate means for treatment of tibiotarsal fractures in birds weighing less than 200 g.
author list (cited authors)
Wright, L., Mans, C., Olsen, G., Doss, G., Amene, E. W., Britsch, G., Christman, J., & Heatley, J.