Phalangeal fractures are common in small animals, and management needs to be individualized. If displacement is minimal, most fractures will heal with little intervention. When damage is more severe, arthrodesis or digit amputation is sometimes necessary to restore pain-free function. The 2 cases described in this article had multiple comminuted fractures of the phalanges that were repaired with excision arthroplasty. Both cases had excellent long-term outcomes with return of pain-free use of the affected limbs.
COMMENTARY: Femoral head and neck excisional arthroplasty is common in veterinary medicine as a treatment for hip dysplasia. In people this procedure is sometimes done to remove arthritic lesions of hands and feet. These 2 cases are a promising example of other uses for this type of procedure as it is less invasive than digital amputation and may provide a better functional outcome.
Excision arthroplasty of the interphalangeal joint as an alternative to digit amputation in two dogs. deRooster H, Risselada M, van Bree H. J Small Anim Pract 48:169-173, 2007. n