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Medial Plating for Carpal Panarthrodesis


  • Presented at the ECVS 12th Annual Scientific Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, July 2003. Vet Surg 32:303, 2003 (abstract).

Address reprint requests to Tomás G. Guerrero, DrMedVet, Clinic for Small Animal Surgery, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse, 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland. Email:


Objective— To describe a technique for carpal panarthrodesis using a medially applied dynamic compression plate (DCP) and to evaluate outcome.

Study Design— Retrospective study.

Animals— Nine dogs with 10 carpal joint injuries.

Methods— Medical records of dogs that had carpal panarthrodesis by medial application of a DCP were reviewed. Signalment, cause and type of injury, preoperative treatment, operative technique, and postoperative clinical and radiographic outcome were retrieved.

Results— Screw loosening in the metacarpal bones required surgical revision in 3 dogs. The plate was removed because of lick dermatitis in another dog. No complications were observed in 6 arthrodeses. All dogs were subsequently sound.

Conclusions— Medial application of a DCP is a reliable, reproducible method for carpal panarthrodesis. The load on the edge of the plate provides an increased area moment of inertia of the plate, enhancing it resistance to bending forces. Because of the valgus standing position of the canine carpus, dynamic compression is achieved. The DCP is secured to 1–3 metacarpal bones and loosening of the implant and bone fractures are expected to occur less frequently

Clinical Relevance— Medial plating for carpal panarthrodesis is a valid alternative method that can be used in dogs with injuries to the carpus for which panarthrodesis of the carpal joint is indicated.