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Arthroscopic removal of fracture fragments involving a portion of the base of the proximal sesamoid bone in horses: 26 cases (1984–1997)

Louise L. Southwood BVSc, MS, DACVS1 and C. Wayne McIlwraith BVSc, PhD, DACVS2,3
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  • 1 Equine Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Equine Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Equine Medical Center, 10542 Walker St, Cypress, CA 90630.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the outcome of horses with basal fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone from which a fracture fragment involving a portion of the base of the bone was removed arthroscopically and to determine whether fragment size was associated with outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—26 horses.

Procedure—Dorsopalmar and axial-abaxial lengths of the fracture fragment were measured on the dorsopalmar and mediolateral radiographic views, respectively, and percentage of the base of the sesamoid bone involved was estimated. Fractures were classified as grade 1 (≤ 25% of the base involved) or grade 2 (> 25% but < 100% of the base involved). Outcome was classified as successful if the horse started at least 2 races or unsuccessful if the horse started only 1 race or failed to return to racing.

Results—There were 24 racehorses and 2 nonracehorses. Twelve (50%) of the racehorses returned to racing and started at least 2 races. Eight of 14 horses with grade-1 fractures and 4 of 10 horses with grade- 2 fractures had a successful outcome. Ten of 16 horses without associated articular disease had successful outcomes, compared with 2 of 8 horses with associated articular disease. However, fragment size and presence of associated articular disease were not significantly associated with outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with basal fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone from which a fracture fragment involving a portion of the base of the bone is removed arthroscopically have a fair prognosis for return to racing. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:236–240)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the outcome of horses with basal fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone from which a fracture fragment involving a portion of the base of the bone was removed arthroscopically and to determine whether fragment size was associated with outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—26 horses.

Procedure—Dorsopalmar and axial-abaxial lengths of the fracture fragment were measured on the dorsopalmar and mediolateral radiographic views, respectively, and percentage of the base of the sesamoid bone involved was estimated. Fractures were classified as grade 1 (≤ 25% of the base involved) or grade 2 (> 25% but < 100% of the base involved). Outcome was classified as successful if the horse started at least 2 races or unsuccessful if the horse started only 1 race or failed to return to racing.

Results—There were 24 racehorses and 2 nonracehorses. Twelve (50%) of the racehorses returned to racing and started at least 2 races. Eight of 14 horses with grade-1 fractures and 4 of 10 horses with grade- 2 fractures had a successful outcome. Ten of 16 horses without associated articular disease had successful outcomes, compared with 2 of 8 horses with associated articular disease. However, fragment size and presence of associated articular disease were not significantly associated with outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with basal fractures of the proximal sesamoid bone from which a fracture fragment involving a portion of the base of the bone is removed arthroscopically have a fair prognosis for return to racing. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:236–240)