Med. Weter. 72 (2), 87-91, 2016

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Turek B., Potyński A., Drewnowska O.
Own-design external fixator for the treatment of diaphyseal fractures of the third metacarpal bone in horses
The most popular method of repairing diaphyseal fractures of the third metacarpal bone is the use of two plates attached directly to the bone. However, the closing of tissue over the plates may be difficult. Moreover, many such fractures are open and therefore contaminated and infected. In such situations, plates cannot be applied. The use of implants fixed in the bone with polymer-coated dressing (cast transfixation) is promising, but the stabilization of bone fragments is insufficient, which can lead to the loosening of the connection between the implant and the dressing. The use of external fixators in the treatment of bone fractures, although quite common in human medicine, is still very rare in horses, No solution for diaphyseal fractures of the third metacarpal bone is currently available on the veterinary market. One possible option might be the use of an external fixator developed by the authors of the present study. The main part of the fixator consists of three metal rods with a diameter of 8 mm and a length of 23 cm, parallel to each other and placed along the long axis of the bone. In the proximal and distal parts of the device, the rods are connected by crescent-shaped plates. On these three metal rods, arms with implant connectors are mounted, attaching the fixator to the bone. It is attached to the third metacarpal bone by 6-8 self-tapping Apex pins with a diameter of 6 mm. The device was designed to meet the following requirements: ease of application and removal, small tissue trauma associated with these operations, adjustable flexibility of fixation and possible correction during treatment, low weight, easy access to the operated area and the possibility of treating an existing wound, good stabilization of bone fragments, and suitability for different types of fractures. The new fixator fully satisfies all these requirements The fixation achieved by means of the device has successfully passed strength tests, and this solution is planned to be implemented in the treatment of selected fractures in horses, especially transverse diaphyseal fractures of the third metacarpal bone.
Key words: horse, third metacarpus, diaphyseal fractures, osteosynthesis, external fixator