Orthopaedic surgery

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Fractures in poultry are not very common and can sometimes be the result of underlying disease, which needs to be considered when planning corrective management. Developmental diseases are more commonly seen in fast-growing birds. This chapter covers general principles, common fracture repair techniques, fractures of the beak, skull, thoracic and pelvic limbs, amputation, fracture disease and developmental disorders.

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24.1 (a)Lateral and (b) rostrocaudal view of a tibiotarsus fracture in a hen. With simple diaphyseal fractures, as in this case, the preferred technique for fixation is with a type IA or type IIA external skeletal fixator (depending on the size of the bird) or a tie-in procedure.
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24.3 A goose with a figure-of-eight bandage in place. This type of external fixation is indicated for fractures of the radius and ulna with good alignment or fractures of the carpometacarpus.
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24.4 External fixation pins. Note the positive profile thread with factory roughened central area to enhance the interface between the acrylic frame and the pin.
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24.5 Fracture of the upper beak.
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24.6 A type IA external skeletal fixation device being used to fix a tarsometatarsal fracture.
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24.7 Ball bandage in a chicken. This technique is used for fractures or dislocations of one or multiple phalanges.
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24.8 Wing with multiple fractures and exposure of the humeral distal fragment following a fox attack. The wing had to be amputated.
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24.9 (a, b) Post surgical appearance of the wing of a goose following amputation. (Courtesy of G Poland)
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24.10 Luxated gastrocnemius tendon in a gosling.
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24.11 A chick with wry neck. This condition may have a muscular or skeletal aetiology. Early splinting can be helpful in some cases.
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24.12 (a)Ventrodorsal and (b) lateral radiographs showing joint disease in a duck (arrowed). There is evidence of soft tissue oedema, an increased articular space due to joint effusion of the second tarsometatarsal–phalanx joint and a proximal periosteal reaction. The cytological examination revealed a septic arthritis. It is important to obtain radiographs of the contralateral limb for comparison.
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