• 1.

    American Association of Equine Practitioners. Guide for veterinary service and judging of equestrian events: definition and classification of lameness. 4th ed. Lexington, Ky: American Association of Equine Practitioners, 1991; 19.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Butler J, Colles C, Dyson S, et al. Chapter 2. Foot, pastern and fetlock: clinical radiology of the horse. 3rd ed. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, 2008; 53187.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Anderson BH, Turner TA, Kobluk CN. Treatment of a comminuted frontal-plane fracture of the distal phalanx in a horse. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996; 209: 17501752.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Keegan KG, Twardock AR, Losonsky JM, et al. Scintigraphic evaluation of fractures of the distal phalanx in horses: 27 cases (1979–1988). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1993; 202: 19931997.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Gabel A, Bukowiecki C. Fractures of the phalanges. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 1983; 5: 233260.

  • 6.

    Honnas C, O'Brien T, Linford R. Distal phalanx fractures in horses: a survey of 274 horses with radiographic assessment of healing in 36 horses. Vet Radiol 1988; 29: 98107.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Yovich J, Hilbert B, McGill C. Fractures of the distal phalanx in horses. Aust Vet J 1982; 59: 180182.

  • 8.

    Scott EA, McDole M, Shires MH. A review of third phalanx fractures in the horse: sixty-five cases. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1979; 174: 13371343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Pettersson H. Fractures of the pedal bone in the horse. Equine Vet J 1976; 8: 104109.

  • 10.

    Yovich J. Fractures of the distal phalanx in the horse. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 1989; 5: 145160.

  • 11.

    Stashak T. Navicular disease (podotrochleosis). Adams' lameness in horses. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1987; 505506.

  • 12.

    Martens P, Ihler C, Rennesund J. Detection of a radiographically occult fracture of the lateral palmar process of the distal phalanx in a horse using computed tomography. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999; 40: 346349.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Dyson S, Marks D. Foot pain and the elusive diagnosis. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2003; 19: 531565.

  • 14.

    Dyson S, Murray R, Schramme M, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging of the equine foot: 15 horses. Equine Vet J 2003; 35: 1826.

  • 15.

    Mair T, Kinns J, Bolas N. Magnetic resonance imaging of the distal limb of the standing horse: technique and review of 40 cases of foot lameness, in Proceedings. 49th Annu Meet Am Assoc Equine Pract 2003; 2941.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Widmer A, Buckwater K, Fessler J, et al. Use of radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of navicular syndrome in the horse. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2000; 41: 108116.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Whitton R, Donovon C, Buckley T, et al. The diagnosis of lameness associated with distal limb pathology in a horse: a comparison of radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Vet J 1998; 155: 223229.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Puchalski S, Galuppo L, Hornof W, et al. Intraarterial contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the equine distal limb. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2007; 48: 2129.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Murray R, Mair T. Use of magnetic resonance imaging in lameness diagnosis in the horse. In Pract 2005; 27: 138146.

  • 20.

    Schneider R, Gavin P, Tucker R. What MRI is teaching us about navicular disease, in Proceedings. 49th Annu Meet Am Assoc Equine Pract 2003; 210219.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Klohnen A, Trostle S, Stone W, et al. Management of a transverse fracture in the distal phalanx of a horse. Can Vet J 1997; 38: 561563.

  • 22.

    Pasquini C, Spurgeon T, Pasquini S. Descriptive terms. In: Pasquini C, Spurgeon T, Pasquini S, eds. Anatomy of domestic animals. 5th ed. Pilot Point, Tex: Sudz Publishing, 1997; 1520.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    McDiarmid A. An unusual case of distal phalanx fracture in a horse. Vet Rec 1995; 137: 613615.

  • 24.

    Notes to termini generales. In: Nomina anatomica veterinaria. 5th ed. Ithaca, NY: International Committee on Veterinary Gross Anatomical Nomenclature, 2005; 1115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Lochner FK, Milne DW, Mills EJ, et al. In vivo and in vitro measurement of tendon strain in the horse. Am J Vet Res 1980; 41: 19291937.

  • 26.

    Thompson K, Cheung K, Silverman M. The effect of toe angle on tendon, ligament and hoof wall strains in vitro. J Equine Vet Sci 1993; 13: 651654.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Ramos Bellenzani M, D'andrea Greve J, Pereira C. In vitro assessment of the equine hoof wall strains in flat weight bearing and after heel elevation. J Equine Vet Sci 2007; 27: 475480.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Rossol M, Gygax D, Andritzky-Waas J, et al. Comparison of computer assisted surgery with conventional technique for treatment of abaxial distal phalanx fractures in horses: an in vitro study. Vet Surg 2008; 37: 3242.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Furst A, Lischer C. Foot. In: Auer J, Stick J, eds. Equine surgery. 3rd ed. St Louis: Saunders, 2006; 11841217.

  • 30.

    Bertone A. Fractures of the distal phalanx. In: Nixon A, ed. Equine fracture repair. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1996; 146152.

Advertisement

Conservative management of a transverse fracture of the distal phalanx in a Quarter Horse

Ceri E. SherlockDepartment of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Search for other papers by Ceri E. Sherlock in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MS, BVetMed DACVS
,
Randall B. EgglestonDepartment of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Search for other papers by Randall B. Eggleston in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, DACVS
, and
Elizabeth W. HowerthDepartment of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Search for other papers by Elizabeth W. Howerth in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD, DACVP

Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was evaluated because of sudden onset of severe left forelimb lameness of 4 days' duration.

Clinical Findings—Clinical evaluation and diagnostic perineural analgesia localized the lameness to the distal portion of the left forelimb. Radiography revealed a transverse fracture of the distal phalanx of the left forelimb.

Treatment and Outcome—The horse was treated conservatively with stall rest and stabilization of the hoof with fiberglass cast material and an elevated heel support. These treatments improved the lameness considerably. Over the following 4 months, the horse was exercised at an increasing level; external coaptation of the hoof was removed, and the horse was gradually shod in a flat shoe. At 6 months after injury, the horse had no signs of lameness when working at its previous performance level, but it was euthanized for reasons unrelated to orthopedic disease. Radiographically, the fracture was unapparent; however, results of magnetic resonance imaging and histologic examination of the cadaveric limb confirmed the presence of tissue changes consistent with a healing fracture.

Clinical Relevance—Conservative management of transverse fractures of the distal phalanx of a forelimb may be effective and enable affected horses to be returned to their intended use.

Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was evaluated because of sudden onset of severe left forelimb lameness of 4 days' duration.

Clinical Findings—Clinical evaluation and diagnostic perineural analgesia localized the lameness to the distal portion of the left forelimb. Radiography revealed a transverse fracture of the distal phalanx of the left forelimb.

Treatment and Outcome—The horse was treated conservatively with stall rest and stabilization of the hoof with fiberglass cast material and an elevated heel support. These treatments improved the lameness considerably. Over the following 4 months, the horse was exercised at an increasing level; external coaptation of the hoof was removed, and the horse was gradually shod in a flat shoe. At 6 months after injury, the horse had no signs of lameness when working at its previous performance level, but it was euthanized for reasons unrelated to orthopedic disease. Radiographically, the fracture was unapparent; however, results of magnetic resonance imaging and histologic examination of the cadaveric limb confirmed the presence of tissue changes consistent with a healing fracture.

Clinical Relevance—Conservative management of transverse fractures of the distal phalanx of a forelimb may be effective and enable affected horses to be returned to their intended use.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Sherlock's present address is School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, England.

The authors thank Kim Mason for acquisition of magnetic resonance images of the cadaveric limbs.

Address correspondence to Dr. Sherlock (cerisherlock@hotmail.com).