Detection of a radiographically occult fracture of the lateral palmar process of the distal phalanx in a horse using computed tomography

Martens P, Ihler CF, Rennesund J.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999;40:346-349.

A horse with a suspected injury of the distal phalanx was examined using radiography at day two and 19 after the onset of the lameness, with no definite diagnosis. Using computed tomography an incomplete fracture of the lateral wing of the distal phalanx was diagnosed at day 25. Based on computed tomography it was determined that the fracture probably did not enter the joint or involve the palmar cortex throughout its length which were of prognostic importance. The day following the CT examination a new oblique radiographic projection was made. In this radiography which was based on, and never would have been attempted without, the information about the geometric pattern of the fracture achieved by CT examination, a radiolucent area indicative of a wing fracture was seen. This report emphasizes the value of computed tomography in diagnosing a geometric complicated nonarticular oblique fracture of the palmar process of the pedal bone in a horse.