Transfixation Pin Cast Recovery: Timelines Set

Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) set time guidelines for the use of transfixation pin casts for horses with comminuted phalangeal fractures. They found that horses with fractures maintained in this type of cast for 40-80 days had increa
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Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) set time guidelines for the use of transfixation pin casts for horses with comminuted phalangeal fractures. They found that horses with fractures maintained in this type of cast for 40-80 days had increased survival rates without an increased risk of complications from the procedure.

One of the greatest challenges clinicians face when treating horses with comminuted limb fractures is the need to get the horse bearing weight as soon as possible. If veterinarians aren’t able to do this, they run the risk of the horse developing contralateral (opposite limb) laminitis. Researchers said the pin cast allows the horse to immediately place weight on the affected limb.

JoLynn Joyce, DVM, a researcher involved in the study, explained that comminuted limb fractures are not uncommon in adult horses, but the exact causes are still unknown.

"It is speculated that repetitive loading of the bone over time results in microfractures, which can then lead to a catastrophic fracture when the bone is loaded in different forces," Joyce said. "Often times, the bone is fractured such that internal fixation with plates and screws can be performed. However, when the bone is severely comminuted (reduced to multiple fragments), then transfixation pin casting can be used

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Written by:

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for TheHorse.com .

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