Thursday 21st Nov, 2019

Stepping Out with a SPIDER

Repairing fractured metacarpals

Minnie stepping outWith Minnie, we were lucky in that the 5th metacarpal was still intact. This meant that it would help to ‘splint’ the repair of the fractured bones.

 It is important to remember that most force on the front feet transfers through metacarpals 3 and 4, and so stabilisation and healing of these fractures was important. It was felt that while conservative management could be tried, it was not as likely to result in a predictable outcome.Minnie Pre-Op

 To repair the fractured metacarpals, we instead used the Secured Pin Intramedullary Dorsal Epoxy Resin, or ‘SPIDER technique’.

 To do this we placed 3 small pins across the fractures in a distal to proximal direction. These pins were tiny, being 0.8mm and 0.6mm in diameter. The pins were then bent back, and connected to a pin that had been transversely placed across the proximal metacarpal bones, and had both its ‘ends’ carefully bent to lie on the top of the carpus.

The pins were then ‘connected’ by a nice blob of Epoxy putty, and a supportive dressing applied for a few days to reduce swelling.

Minnie Post-Op

Minnie was a little lame when the SPIDER was on her foot, but still tolerated it really well. Unlike bandages it did not require repeated sedation to allow redress and there was therefore a lower risk of pressure sores.

After 30 days, the toes were X-rayed which showed good healing of metacarpal 2 and 4, and progression of the healing of metacarpal 3. This enabled us to be confident to “remove the SPIDER”.

Minnie has since been using her foot well and has been trotting about quite the thing!

Whatever the type of fracture, we can help you out - get in touch with Ross and the Roundhouse Referrals team!

minnie follow up 2
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