Intramedullary pinning of femoral diaphyseal fractures in neonatal calves: 12 cases (1980-1990)

Guy St-Jean From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606 (St-Jean, DeBowes) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Hull, Constable).

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Richard M. DeBowes From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606 (St-Jean, DeBowes) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Hull, Constable).

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Bruce L. Hull From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606 (St-Jean, DeBowes) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Hull, Constable).

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Peter D. Constable From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606 (St-Jean, DeBowes) and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Hull, Constable).

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Summary

Medical records of 12 calves ≤1 month old, with fracture of the femoral diaphysis, were reviewed. Ten calves were within 1 week of birth at the time of diagnosis. Open reduction was accomplished by use of a lateral approach. Retrograde intramedullary pinning was accomplished in all calves, using 2 (n = 4 calves) or 3 (n = 8 calves) pins. Cerclage wire was used to supplement fixation in 7 calves. A closed continuous suction drain was placed along the lateral aspect of the femur in every calf.

Postsurgical complications included seroma formation over the middle gluteal musculature (n = 5 calves), pin migration (n = 6 calves), and osteomyelitis (n = 1 calf). Pin migration was observed in 4 calves that had been treated with nonthreaded trochar point pins.

Fractures in 10 of 12 calves (83%) were considered to have healed satisfactorily. One calf was euthanatized because of septic osteomyelitis of the femur. One calf was euthanatized because of persistent lameness and pin migration. Pins were removed in 8 of 12 calves (67%) between the 13th and 90th postoperative days. Results of this study indicate that application of intramedullary pins may be a useful solution for management of femoral diaphyseal fracture in young calves.

Summary

Medical records of 12 calves ≤1 month old, with fracture of the femoral diaphysis, were reviewed. Ten calves were within 1 week of birth at the time of diagnosis. Open reduction was accomplished by use of a lateral approach. Retrograde intramedullary pinning was accomplished in all calves, using 2 (n = 4 calves) or 3 (n = 8 calves) pins. Cerclage wire was used to supplement fixation in 7 calves. A closed continuous suction drain was placed along the lateral aspect of the femur in every calf.

Postsurgical complications included seroma formation over the middle gluteal musculature (n = 5 calves), pin migration (n = 6 calves), and osteomyelitis (n = 1 calf). Pin migration was observed in 4 calves that had been treated with nonthreaded trochar point pins.

Fractures in 10 of 12 calves (83%) were considered to have healed satisfactorily. One calf was euthanatized because of septic osteomyelitis of the femur. One calf was euthanatized because of persistent lameness and pin migration. Pins were removed in 8 of 12 calves (67%) between the 13th and 90th postoperative days. Results of this study indicate that application of intramedullary pins may be a useful solution for management of femoral diaphyseal fracture in young calves.

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