Titanium microplates for treatment of tibiotarsus fractures in pigeons

Among the surgical problems in birds, the fractures are the most prevalent. Due to variations in size, weight, peculiar bone anatomy, high incidence of complicated fractures and functional demands of different species and individuals, it is still not possible to establish an ideal method for osteosynthesis of long bones in birds. Titanium microplates commonly used in human maxillofacial surgery have been recently employed in osteosynthesis of birds, but with few results available. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of titanium microplates in the treatment of tibiotarsus fractures in 30 pigeons (Columba livia) , adult males and females, with 7 months old, weighing from 400 to 500. The animals were divided into 3 groups with ten animals each. In group 1, a titanium microplate with 6 holes and a central spacer was used; in group 2, a titanium microplate with 8 holes without a spacer in the center was used; in group 3, a titanium microplate with 8 holes with central spacer was used. After clinical evaluation, the birds were submitted to mid-diaphyseal osteotomy in the right bone for placement of different configurations of the titanium plate, and fixed with titanium microscrews 7mm long. The animals were evaluated clinically and radiographically until 90 days postoperatively. After this period, euthanasia was performed in 2 animals from each group. In all animals was observed bone healing and in group 1 the mean and standard deviation were 32.9±9.9 days, in group 2, 30.8±6.7 days in group 3, 26.6±6.4 days. There was no statistical difference in healing time between groups. The bending of the implant was the most common complication. The configuration of the plate resulted in a statistically significant difference in relation to walking and to the degree of bending in the different groups. Moreover, in group 3 there was higher precocity in the member suppor and a lower degree of bending in relation to other groups. Histologically, it was verified formation of the callus in all animals and presence of bone tissue around the plate and microscrews. Despite the complications of titanium microplates, they are an option for tibiotarsus osteosynthesis in birds of medium size.

avian; orthopedics surgery; implant

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