Authors of section

Authors

Anton Fürst, Wayne McIlwraith, Dean Richardson

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Staged plate removal

1. Staged removal

The plates are usually removed in foals, especially those that are intended of sport activities.
This is usually performed in a staged way, where initially one plate is removed followed by removal of the second plate one month later.
In selected cases both plates can be removed at the same time. Broken implants are left in the bone.
If planned, plate removal is performed 5-6 months following fracture repair.

2. Position

Plate removal can be performed either in the standing position or under general anesthesia. If DCS implants were inserted plate removal under general anesthesia is recommended.

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3. Access

To access the plate usually the healed skin incision used for the original approach to the bone is circumcised followed by splitting the common digital extensor tendon again.

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4. Removal

The plates are usually removed in foals, especially those that are intended of sport activities.
This is usually performed in a staged way, where initially one plate is removed followed by removal of the second plate one month later.
In selected cases both plates can be removed at the same time. Broken implants are left in the bone.

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5. Recovery from anesthesia

For the recovery from anesthesia a full limb bandage with an added splint is applied, which can be removed after a few days and replaced with a tight half limb bandage.
The patient is kept in box stall for 3 weeks with bandage changes at 4 -6 day intervals.
Hand walking can be resumed at that time.

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6. Reconvalescent period

The remaining reconvalescent period is identical to the aftercare following the fracture repair.
At 6 months postoperatively the horse is returned to training.
The metacarpus/metatarsus is radiographed before the horse does its first breeze (work at maximal speed) to assure that healing is complete. There may be a faint outline of the fracture lines in association with peri-and endosteal callus.

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