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Lag screw and tension band wire arthrodesis of the scapulohumeral joint in a miniature bull calf
  1. Elizabeth Cypher,
  2. Sarel van Amstel,
  3. Rachel Lyons and
  4. David E Anderson
  1. LACS, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Cypher, ecypher{at}


An eight-month-old miniature zebu bull calf, 50 kg, was presented for evaluation of a moderate (grade 4 out of 5) right forelimb lameness of eight weeks’ duration. Clinical and radiographic findings revealed a marked degenerative osteoarthritis of the right scapulohumeral joint. Arthrodesis of the right scapulohumeral joint via placement of two transarticular cancellous bone screws in lag fashion and a dorsolateral figure-of-eight tension band wire was performed. Final angle of arthrodesis was 122°. Short-term morbidity was minimal. The patient remained comfortable on the limb throughout the eight-day hospitalisation. By discharge, the lameness had improved (grade 3 out of 5). Long-term follow-up at six months was considered good for breeding soundness, though a gait deficit was present in the affected limb. Lag screw and tension band wire arthrodesis of the scapulohumeral joint should be considered a viable less invasive option in small ruminants with terminal scapulohumeral joint disease.

  • Cattle
  • Surgery
  • Orthopaedics
  • Trauma
  • Joint diseases
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  • Contributors Conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data: DEA and EC. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version published: EC, DEA, SvA and RL.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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