OBJECTIVE: To report the outcome of horses after pancarpal or partial carpal arthrodesis with 3 locking compression plates (LCP).
STUDY DESIGN: Case series.
ANIMALS: Six horses ranging in age from 8 months to 16 years and weighing 227-580 kg with severe carpal pathology including acute fractures, chronic osteoarthritis, and chronic angular limb deformity.
METHODS: Pancarpal or partial carpal arthrodesis was performed with 3 LCP. Autologous cancellous bone grafts were used in 5 of 6 cases to facilitate joint arthrodesis.
RESULTS: External coaptation was maintained for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Radiographic follow-up was available in all 6 cases, all of which reached arthrodesis and pasture soundness by 4-5 months postoperatively. One case required implant removal at 6 months because of implant exposure through the skin but returned to pasture soundness after removal.
CONCLUSION: Carpal instability due to acute fractures or chronic disease was successfully stabilized with 3 short LCP, leading to pasture soundness in all 6 horses.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The use of 3 short LCP should be considered as a strategy to facilitate pancarpal or partial carpal arthrodesis by providing superior stability without placement of implants in the diaphysis of the radius and third metacarpus.