Clinical evaluation of pancarpal arthrodesis using a CastLess plate in 11 dogs.

Clarke SP, Ferguson JF, Miller A.
Vet Surg
2009 Oct

OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of a 3.5/2.7 mm CastLess Plate (CLP) for pancarpal arthrodesis (PCA) in dogs. STUDY DESIGN: Case series. ANIMALS: Dogs with traumatic/degenerative carpal disease (n=11). METHODS: Records (September 2006-July 2007) of dogs that had PCA using a 3.5/2.7 mm CLP were reviewed to determine intra- and postoperative complications and use of external coaptation. Follow-up (> or =12 months) was obtained by telephone interview of owners. RESULTS: Thirteen PCA procedures were performed; 5 intraoperative complications occurred in 4 procedures and included iatrogenic metacarpal fissure fracture (2), inability to remove an alignment pin (1), and poor distal plate position (2). External coaptation was used in 4 dogs: concomitant or iatrogenic injuries (3), bilateral PCA (1), for 3-6 weeks. Clinical evaluation 6-24 weeks postoperatively revealed iatrogenic metacarpal fractures to have healed and that 1 postoperative complication (infection) developed. Telephone follow-up for 10 dogs (mean, 14 months; range, 12-20 months) revealed no further problems. CONCLUSION: PCA using a 3.5/2.7 mm CLP reduces the need for external coaptation and seemingly reduces postoperative morbidity associated with other internal fixation techniques. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: PCA can be performed safely and successfully using a 3.5/2.7 mm CLP, with low postoperative morbidity compared with other PCA techniques. Particular attention should be taken when applying the distal component of the plate.