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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2015

Authors: Schneller, A; Licka, T; Peham, C

Title: In vitro comparison of equine distal limb casting techniques: fibreglass cast vs. polyurethane foam inserted half shells.

Other title: In vitro Vergleich von Verbandmethoden an der distalen Gliedma├če beim Pferd: Fiberglas-Cast im Vergleich zu mit Polyurethan-Schaum ausgegossenen Halbschalen

Source: Wien Tierarztl Monat. 2015; 102(5-6): 104-111.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Licka Theresia
Peham Christian

Vetmed Research Units
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Surgery

The aim of the study was to compare skin pressures on equine distal forelimbs caused by two immobilization techniques during simulated walking load. The two techniques were routine fibreglass casting (FCI) and two fibreglass half shells with polyurethane foam insertions (PFI). Ten pairs of equine cadaveric distal forelimbs were used in an in vitro biomechanical setting. Pressures were determined using pressure-detecting films placed on sites prone to develop pressure ulcers. Each forelimb was immobilized using either FCI or PFI. Limbs were axially loaded 100 times with 3000 N. Perfect conformation to the limb was achieved with PFI. The pressure at proximal sesamoid bones and dorsal fetlock was significantly higher with PFI than with FCI. Insertion of polyurethane foam into cast shells exerts high pressures on the limb; so strong stabilization and conformation to the limb is expected. Further testing, for example with various pressure-detecting devices or different foams, is required to show whether the PFI technique is suitable for lower limb immobilization in clinical use. It should be borne in mind that PU foam releases toxic fumes during foaming. Higher mean pressures with PFI may translate to an increased risk of the development of pressure ulcers. In both immobilization techniques, high pressures at the proximal sesamoid bones and proximal dorsal metacarpus substantiate the risk of the development of pressure ulcers at these sites.

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