Objective: To describe a technique used for reduction and internal fixation of sacral fractures in cattle.
Study Design: Case series.
Animals: Three heifers aged 19–32 months with deformation of the tail head and tail paralysis attributable to a closed fracture of S5 or S4 and S5.
Methods: Fractures were reduced and repaired under general anesthesia. A narrow, 6–10-hole, locking compression plate (LCP) was placed on the spinous processes of S5 and the first coccygeal (Co1) using 5.0 mm locking head screws. Follow-up inquiries were made by telephone (3/3), and cows were examined clinically and radiographically 2 (1 cow) to 9 (1cow) months postoperatively.
Results: No complications were encountered. The range of movement of the tail improved so that soiling of the tail during defecation was no longer a problem. In all heifers, the normal top line was restored and there was no narrowing of the pelvic canal. Unassisted calving occurred in all heifers, and follow-up radiographs for 2 cows showed complete fracture healing.
Conclusion: LCP-osteosynthesis of the spinous processes provided sufficient stability for internal fixation of sacral fractures. Marked improvement in tail function occurred postoperatively without decompression by laminectomy.