Conservative and surgical treatment in 22 ruminants with limb fractures

The aim of the present study was to report the main locations of limb fractures in 22 ruminants and to determine the efficiency of the treatment choices. Eight goats, eight sheep and six cattle were included. In cases of distal fractures, the conservative treatment with immobilization was the method of choice. In cases of proximal, exposed metatarsal or metacarpal fractures, the ruminants were treated surgically. The higher frequency of fractures involved the metacarpal or metatarsal (54.5%) followed by fractures of the tibia (22.7%), femur (9%) and isolated cases of medial phalanx, humerus, radius and ulna fractures (4.5% each). Total recovery rate reached 95.4%. Immobilization with plaster associated with Thomas splint, or just with wooden splints in young animals, was efficient in reducing fractures of metacarpal, metatarsal, tibia, humerus, and radio in the treated ruminants. In the case of medial phalanx fracture, immobilization using only plaster was sufficient to provide adequate bone repair. The internal or external skeletal fixation should be considered an option in the treatment of metacarpal, metatarsal, tibial and femoral fractures in ruminants, especially in low body weight animals.

Fractures; external skeletal fixator; orthopedics; osteosynthesis; Thomas split; ruminants


Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: pvb@pvb.com.br