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Clinical Evaluation of a Titanium, Headless Variable-Pitched Tapered Cannulated Compression Screw for Repair of Frontal Plane Slab Fractures of the Third Carpal Bone in Thoroughbred Racehorses

Authors

  • JONATHAN E. HIRSCH MS, DVM,

    1. Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis CA
    2. Equine Medical and Surgical Group, Arcadia, CA
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  • LARRY D. GALUPPO DVM, Diplomate ACVS,

    1. Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis CA
    2. Equine Medical and Surgical Group, Arcadia, CA
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  • LINDSAY E. GRAHAM BS,

    1. Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis CA
    2. Equine Medical and Surgical Group, Arcadia, CA
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  • EDWIN L. SIMPSON DVM,

    1. Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis CA
    2. Equine Medical and Surgical Group, Arcadia, CA
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  • GREGORY L. FERRARO DVM

    1. Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, Davis CA
    2. Equine Medical and Surgical Group, Arcadia, CA
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Address reprint request to Larry Galuppo, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail: ldgaluppo@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Objective— To report clinical evaluation of third carpal bone (C3) frontal plane slab fracture repair with the Acutrak® screw system.

Study Design— Prospective case series.

Sample Population— Racing Thoroughbreds (n=17) with frontal C3 slab fractures.

Methods— C3 slab fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses (1999–2004) were repaired by use of the Acutrak® screw system. Data collected were (1) preoperative variables—gender, age at injury, limb involved, injury occurrence, fracture thickness, complexity, and displacement, race starts and earnings and (2) postoperative variables were: surgical complications, days to first start, race starts, and earnings. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare pre- and postoperative starts and earnings; significance was set at P<.05.

Results— Seventeen Thoroughbred racehorses (12 females, 3 males, 2 geldings) were enrolled. Mean (±SD) age at injury was 3.3±1.0 years. Right carpi (10) were affected more than left (7). Ten injuries occurred during training, 7 during racing. Twelve of 15 horses that raced before injury returned to racing. Average days to first start was 349.3±153.9 days. Horses that returned to racing had more starts after repair (median, 6.5 versus 3.5; P=.04) and did not have decreased earnings per start (median, $2452 versus $3061; P=.30).

Conclusion— The Acutrak® screw system is a useful repair technique for frontal C3 slab fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Clinical Relevance— Adequate reduction and stability of C3 slab fractures can be achieved with the Acutrak® screw system, decreasing the likelihood of fragment splitting and screw head impingement on carpal soft tissues.

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