A retrospective study comparing conservative and surgical treatments of open comminuted fractures of the fourth metatarsal bone in horses

Sherlock, C E and Archer, R M (2008) A retrospective study comparing conservative and surgical treatments of open comminuted fractures of the fourth metatarsal bone in horses. EQUINE VETERINARY EDUCATION, 20 (7). pp. 373-379.

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Abstract

The proximal third of metatarsal IV is predisposed to open comminuted fractures due to its superficial and prominent position and controversy exists regarding the most appropriate management for this type of fracture. Fifty-three horses treated for open comminuted fractures of the proximal third of metatarsal IV were selected for study from 6 equine hospitals across England. Comparisons were made between the 21 horses treated conservatively and the 32 horses treated surgically. Horses treated conservatively at referral centres had comparable rates of survival, rates of return to full work and convalescent periods but a significantly lower cost than those treated surgically. The results of this study suggest that aggressive conservative therapy may be indicated in open comminuted fractures of the proximal third of metatarsal IV