For the treatment of end stage arthritis, luxation of the pastern joint and some pastern fractures.
Surgery involves a dorsal approach, opening the front of the joint, removal of most of the articular cartilage, and application of hardware to compress and stabilise P1 and P2. We usually use a single central plate and two screws across the joint on either side of the plate.
Horses are rehabilitated in a half limb cast initially. It may be many months before the bone has healed.
Some horses will return to high level competition after this surgery although usually we are aiming for a horse that will be comfortable in the paddock.
This is a very rare procedure and is usually reserved as a salvage procedure for horses with severe osteoarthritis of the carpal region.
'Pan' referes to fusion of all three mobile joints of the carpus. In horses this technique requires strong implants, usually two large, long bone plates are used to span from the radius over the carpal bones and onto the cannon bone.
This procedure has enabled ongoing productivity in valuable brood mares. As with any arthrodesis, removing the joint and creating a bony column, eliminates the pain associated with the previous debilitating osteoarthritis.