French researchers report success in treating fractured equine neck vertebrae using surgical repair techniques commonly reserved for mending limb fractures.
A recently 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). 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, March 2016.