Use of Locking Compression Plate and Locking Compression T-Plate for Surgical Arthrodesis of the Carpometacarpal and Distal Tarsal Joints in 13 Horses

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2023 Jan;36(1):39-45. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1756518. Epub 2022 Sep 19.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the use of the locking compression plate (LCP) and locking compression T-plate (LCTP) in cases of carpometacarpal and distal tarsal arthrodesis for the treatment of osteoarthritis and small carpal or tarsal bone fractures, and to document clinical outcomes.

Study design: Case records of horses treated with carpometacarpal or distal tarsal arthrodesis via internal fixation using an LCP or LCTP between 2013 and 2021 were reviewed. All cases were evaluated retrospectively. Follow-up information was gained via phone conversation with owners and referring veterinarians.

Results: Data were collected for 13 horses that fulfilled the study criteria. A total of eight horses underwent distal tarsal arthrodesis, and five underwent carpometacarpal arthrodesis. Twelve of thirteen horses went back to some level of athletic performance. Eight of 13 returned to the same level, while 4 of 13 returned to a lower level. Minor postoperative complications were recorded in 3 of 13 cases, with all horses suffering manageable short-term complications returning to the same level of work. Two horses suffered a major complication, with one resulting in euthanasia.

Conclusion: Carpometacarpal and distal tarsal arthrodesis performed using the LCP and LCTP allowed all surviving horses in the study to obtain immediate postoperative comfort and eventual return to use.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthrodesis / methods
  • Arthrodesis / veterinary
  • Bone Plates / veterinary
  • Horse Diseases* / surgery
  • Horses / surgery
  • Osteoarthritis* / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tarsal Joints*
  • Treatment Outcome