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Fractures of the tuber coxa of the ilium in horses: 29 cases (1996–2007)

Robin M. DabareinerDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Robert C. ColeDepartment of Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine history; clinical, radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic abnormalities; treatment; and outcome in horses with tuber coxae fractures and to describe a useful technique for obtaining a dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic view of the tuber coxa of the ilium in standing horses.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—29 horses with fractures of tuber coxa.

Procedures—Data collected from medical records included signalment; history; horse use; severity and duration of lameness; radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic findings; treatment; and outcome.

Results—All horses had a traumatic event leading to acute, unilateral hind limb lameness. Eighteen horses had a more severe lameness at the walk than at the trot; 22 of 29 horses had an abnormal gait with the hind limbs tracking to 1 side of the forelimbs. Twenty-four of 29 horses had palpable and visual asymmetry between the affected and unaffected tuber coxae. Twenty horses had radiography performed while sedated but standing, and fractures were reliably identified on the dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic views. Twenty-seven (27/29 [93%]) horses returned to athletic use. Horses sustaining partial fractures of the caudal aspect of tuber coxae returned to previous use significantly earlier (mean, 3 months), compared with horses with complete tuber coxae fractures (6.5 months).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with tuber coxae fractures returned to athletic soundness following extended periods of rest. Findings emphasized the need for obtaining a dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic view of the tuber coxa of the ilium in horses suspected of sustaining injury to this region.

Abstract

Objective—To determine history; clinical, radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic abnormalities; treatment; and outcome in horses with tuber coxae fractures and to describe a useful technique for obtaining a dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic view of the tuber coxa of the ilium in standing horses.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—29 horses with fractures of tuber coxa.

Procedures—Data collected from medical records included signalment; history; horse use; severity and duration of lameness; radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic findings; treatment; and outcome.

Results—All horses had a traumatic event leading to acute, unilateral hind limb lameness. Eighteen horses had a more severe lameness at the walk than at the trot; 22 of 29 horses had an abnormal gait with the hind limbs tracking to 1 side of the forelimbs. Twenty-four of 29 horses had palpable and visual asymmetry between the affected and unaffected tuber coxae. Twenty horses had radiography performed while sedated but standing, and fractures were reliably identified on the dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic views. Twenty-seven (27/29 [93%]) horses returned to athletic use. Horses sustaining partial fractures of the caudal aspect of tuber coxae returned to previous use significantly earlier (mean, 3 months), compared with horses with complete tuber coxae fractures (6.5 months).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with tuber coxae fractures returned to athletic soundness following extended periods of rest. Findings emphasized the need for obtaining a dorsomedial-ventrolateral 50° oblique radiographic view of the tuber coxa of the ilium in horses suspected of sustaining injury to this region.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Cole's present address is Animal Imaging Center, 6112 Riverside Dr, Irving, TX 75039.

The authors thank Betsy McCauley for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Dabareiner.