Authors of section

Authors

Larry Bramlage, Wayne McIlwraith

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Slab fractures classification

1. Introduction

Most horses with an intra-articular fracture of the carpus display acute onset of clinical signs but the damage is chronic in nature, at least in race horses.

The damage is the end result of a chronic process in which stress related subchondral bone damage occurs.

2. Overview fracture types

Most horses with an intra-articular fracture of the carpus display acute onset of clinical signs but the damage is chronic in nature, at least in race horses.

The damage is the end result of a chronic process in which stress related subchondral bone damage occurs.

Three types of fractures occur within the carpal bones of the horse: osteochondral fragmentation, slab fractures, and comminuted fractures.

Slab fractures of the carpus usually occur completely through the bone, and although they are most common in the third carpal bone, they can occur in the intermediate and radial carpal bones as well.

 

definition

3. Frontal slab fracture

Frontal fracture of radial facet of third carpal bone (can be non-displaced or displaced).

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Frontal fracture of both radial and intermediate facet of third carpal bone (are usually displaced with tendency for collapse).

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Frontal fracture of intermediate facet of third carpal bone (rare).

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Sagittal fracture of third carpal bone.

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Other fractures include: frontal slab fracture of radial carpal bone (R) and sagittal fracture of intermediate carpal bone (I). These single fractures are rare and will not be addressed in this reference.

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4. Radiography

Comprehensive radiographic review is mandatory on all horses with a carpal slab fracture. The projections of which individual fractures of the third carpal bone is usually recognized is given in the table.

Specific views will be illustrated in the section of each individual fracture.

Table 1: Recognition of Carpal Bone Fractures on the different Radiographic Projections