Repair of Fractures in the Field


  • David C. Van Metre Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
  • David E. Anderson Section of Agricultural Practices, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506



fracture management, orthopedic treatment, patient comfort, treatment, education, client


Effective fracture management in the field requires that the veterinarian evaluate multiple criteria in order to determine if the options for treatment applicable to the field setting are valid orthopedic treatment options, provide adequate patient comfort, and are cost-effective. The age, size, temperament, and intended use of the animal; location and physical characteristics of the fracture; experience of the attending veterinarian; the animal's environment during convalescence; and any economic constraints must be considered together in determining a prognosis and treatment plan. Treatment options commonly available for fracture management in ambulatory practice include stall confinement without external coaptation, cast application, and application of a Thomas splint-cast combination. Investigation of the etiology of the fracture may reveal opportunities for the veterinarian to educate farm or ranch personnel on methods of animal husbandry or handling that can potentially prevent future cases from occurring.






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