Fetlock arthrodesis using DCP internal fixation in a Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) for treatment of metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension

08 Mar 2019

McLean, K., Lozier, J., Lakritz, J., Niehaus, A. J.

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A 21-month-old intact, male Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) presented for bilateral metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension. Physical and radiographic evaluation revealed evidence of soft tissue hyperextension with no bony changes. The left metacarpophalangeal joint was fused using two dynamic compression plates on the dorsal aspect of the joint along with a figure-8 tension band on the palmar aspect of the lateral fetlock for additional structural support. Twenty-seven days postoperatively, the patient was able to weightbear on both thoracic limbs. The patient was released with recommendations to have the contralateral limb corrected in the near future. Follow-up communication with the referring veterinarian revealed no known complications with the surgically corrected limb four months postrelease. This report illustrates the adaptation of a commonly reported surgical procedure in equine medicine and supports its use for correction of metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension in artiodactylids not amenable to long-term medical management.