Arthrodesis as a treatment for metacarpophalangeal joint luxation in 2 raptors

Arnaud J. Van Wettere, Patrick T Redig

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7 Scopus citations


Two raptors, a juvenile prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) and an adult female great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), were presented with luxation of the metacarpophalangeal joint. Additionally, the falcon had a distal metacarpal articular fracture, and the owl had an open wound at the luxation site. After supportive care, both birds were treated by arthrodesis of the metacarpophalangeal joint. A Type 1 external skeletal fixator was applied to stabilize the joint and to allow bony fusion to occur. Bony fusion occurred in 6 and 9 weeks in the falcon and the owl, respectively. Full flight capacity was restored, and both birds were released into the wild. Arthrodesis represents a viable option for the treatment of metacarpophalangeal joint luxations or articular fractures of the associated bone in avian species when treatment by reduction and stabilization fails.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Arthrodesis
  • Articular fracture
  • Avian
  • Bubo virginianus
  • Falco mexicanus
  • Great horned owl
  • Luxation
  • Metacarpophalangeal joint
  • Prairie falcon


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