Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
The coracoid, along with the scapula and clavicle, comprise the avian thoracic girdle.1 Coracoid fractures and luxations generally occur as a result of a gunshot injury or a collision with a solid object.1,4 Birds with coracoid injuries usually cannot fly.1,6 Diagnosing a coracoid injury can be difficult on physical examination, as birds may only have a slight wing droop or no wing droop. Radiographs are required to confirm a coracoid injury. Historically, cage rest and/or the placement of intramedullary (IM) pins have been recommended as methods for treating coracoid injuries. Displaced fractures and luxations have a poor prognosis with cage rest, and surgery is indicated. The surgical approach to the coracoid and IM pin placement has been described.8,9 Internal fixation using plates can provide rigid stability, counteract all four forces acting on bone, and maintain anatomic alignment.10 Special considerations for bone plate fixation in avian bones have been described.2,5,7 The following represents a case series in which three different coracoid injuries were repaired using internal plating. The first case, a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), presented with a caudoventral luxation of the left coracoid. The second case, another bald eagle, presented with a mid-diaphyseal fracture of the left coracoid.3 The third case, a scarlet macaw (Ara macao), presented with an oblique fracture of the right coracoid. In all three cases, the surgeries were uneventful, and the birds made complete recoveries. Both bald eagles were released back to the wild after rehabilitation.
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