Retrospective Evaluation of Tibiotarsal Fractures Treated With Tape Splints in Birds: 86 Cases (2006-2015). Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Avian Med Surg

altmetric score

  • 0.5

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Wright, Louden||Mans, Christoph||Olsen, Geoff||Doss, Grayson||Amene, Ermias W||Britsch, Gerd||Christman, Jane||Heatley, Jill

publication date

  • September 2018