Authors of section

Author

Anton Fürst

Executive Editor

Jörg Auer

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Sacral fractures

Fracture of the sacrococcygeal spine may involve the sacrum vertebra.
definition

Etiology

  • Rearing and falling over backward
  • Collisions and kicks by other horses

definition

Clinical signs of sacral vertebral fractures

Clinical signs of sacral vertebral fractures depend on:

  • Degree of bony disruption
  • Instability at the fracture site
  • Severity to the trauma to the cord

Clinical signs can be:

  • Mild to severe ataxia
  • Pain and swelling over the croup and tail head, tail weakness or paralysis, decreased anal tone, retention of feces, bladder distention, and urine dribbling

Imaging

Radiographs:

  • The growth plates and their closure times must be taken into consideration when interpreting the radiographic images in foals and young adult horses
  • Fracture lines are often poorly visualized

Radiographic examination:

  • Lateral radiographs
  • Ventrodorsal radiographs are usually unrewarding

Computertomography:

  • Complete CT of the thoracolumbar/sacrococcygeal region is possible in foals, small horses, ponies and donkeys.

Myelography:

  • Possible in foals, small horses, ponies, and donkeys

MRI:

  • A complete examination is possible in foals, small horses, ponies and donkeys.