Surgical repair techniques of neck fractures show promise

French researchers report that techniques commonly reserved for mending limb fractures are successful in repairing broken neck vertebrae.

French researchers report success in treating fractured equine neck vertebrae using surgical repair techniques commonly reserved for mending limb fractures.

A horse with his neck outstretched
Stiffness, incoordination and discomfort can all be signs of neck vertebrae fractures

A published paper describes the cases of three horses who sustained neck injuries in falls and were referred to Clinique Vétérinaire de Grosbois in Boissy Saint Leger (near Paris). 

Click here to learn how to prevent slip-and-fall injuries in horses. 

All of the horses showed signs of stiffness, incoordination and discomfort.After radiographs confirmed fractures of cervical vertebrae, each horse underwent surgery during which the affected bones were stabilized and repaired with screws and plates. In one case, two vertebrae were also fused to each other to further stabilize the injured area. All of the fractures healed without complication and each horse returned to full athletic function.The researchers conclude that “internal fixation of cervical fracture in these horses was associated with minimal complications, and was associated with healing and a highly functional outcome in all horses.”

Reference:Internal fixation of cervical fractures in three horses,” Veterinary Surgery, January 2016

This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #461

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