Highly Comminuted, Articular Fractures of the Distal Antebrachium Managed by Pancarpal Arthrodesis in 8 Dogs

Publication date 1st July 2015
Authors Gordon Brown, Stephen Kalff, Toby J. Gemmill, Jonathon Pink, Bill Oxley, W. Malcolm McKee, Stephen P Clarke


To describe the surgical management by pancarpal arthrodesis for highly comminuted articular fractures of the distal antebrachium in 8 dogs.

Study design

Retrospective clinical case series


Eight dogs


Medical records (2001–2014) of dogs with antebrachial fractures were reviewed and dogs with highly comminuted distal antebrachial fractures were identified. The nature of the injury, surgical management by pancarpal arthrodesis, outcome, and complications were recorded.


Nine fractures occurred in 8 dogs. Seven dogs were ex-racing greyhounds (8 fractures) and of these, 6/7 dogs had fractures of the right thoracic limb. Compared with the hospital population of dogs with antebrachial fractures, greyhounds were overrepresented for the antebrachial injury (odds ratio 117, 95% confidence interval 13– 1022). Five dogs sustained injury during exertional exercise or with relatively minor trauma. Submitted bone samples (n¼4) showed no evidence of underlying neoplasia. Mean followup was 15.5 months with 11 complications recorded in 7/8 dogs, including 1 catastrophic, 5 major, and 5 minor complications. Pancarpal arthrodesis allowed a full functional outcome in 3 dogs and an acceptable outcome in 3.


Comminuted articular fractures of the distal radius and ulna are complex injuries and have a similar presentation to pathologic fractures. Surgical management by pancarpal arthrodesis is associated with a high risk of complication and a guarded prognosis for a full functional outcome.