Comminuted diaphyseal fractures occur in a variety of configurations and can vary from simple butterfly fragments to complete loss of bone architecture through massive comminution, particularly in adult horses. They are the most common configuration of radial fractures occurring in adult horses.
There may be varying degree of displacement. Minimally displaced comminuted fractures may be the result of fissure fractures developing into a complete fracture.
Left: foal with butterfly. Right: adult horse.
The horse usually presents with non-weightbearing lameness, axial instability in the antebrachial region. There may be varying degrees of soft-tissue swelling and there may be a wound either associated with a kick injury or when or as the result of a fragment penetrating the skin on the medial side of the leg.