Semester of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science (MS)


Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Document Type



INTRODUCTION - Break down injuries resulting in the disruption of the suspensory apparatus, or the development of moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and/or metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, are well documented reasons to perform a surgical arthrodesis in horses. The objective of this thesis was to compare the biomechanical characteristics of different arthrodesis techniques for the equine MCP joint.

MATERIALS AND METHODS - The first cadaveric study evaluated the biomechanical properties of two constructs with 5.5 mm broad 10-hole LCP alone or in combination with a 2.0 mm stainless-steel cable under cyclic fatigue testing and single cycle to failure in axial compression. The second study evaluated constructs with either a 5.5 mm broad 10-hole LCP or a human NCB® polyaxial locking plate system. Data from both studies included construct movement over time in a nondestructive cyclic movement protocol, yield point and maximum load to failure in single cycle to failure.

RESULTS – In the first study, in cyclic testing, construct movement did not change between the first and last 5% of testing cycles regardless of construct and overall movement of each construct during cyclic testing was less than 1.1mm. In single cycle testing, the maximum load at failure was significantly higher in the LCP-cable compared to constructs with the LCP alone but the yield point did not reveal any difference. In the second study, in cyclic testing, overall movement of the NCB® was less than that of the LCP. In single cycle testing, the maximum load at failure and yield point were not significantly different.

DISCUSSION - The results of the first study supported the use of the cable in clinical situations. However, given the high forces at failure and the yield point/cyclic testing not being different, regardless of type of construct, the clinical significance remains questionable. While in the second study, a significant difference was found between constructs during cyclic testing, LCP versus NCB® constructs conferred no difference in stability in single cycle to failure testing. The shape and the polyaxial component of the NCB® plate might however have an increased number of benefits when compared to the LCP.

Committee Chair

Riggs, Laura M.



Available for download on Thursday, April 03, 2025