Long-term radiographic and histological follow-up after resection of the distal interphalangeal joint using a plantar approach in German Holstein cows
Resection of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIJ) is a claw-preserving method for treatment of septic arthritis. This study presents the radiographic and histological findings of the surgically-treated area after resection of the DIJ using a plantar approach in seven German Holstein cows. Histological postmortem evaluation 439 to 710 days after surgery showed that there was extensive proliferation of connective tissue rich in collagen fibres in the space left after resection in three cows; this was classified as fibrous ankylosis. In the remaining four cows, histological evaluation 1010 to 1756 days after surgery showed extensive new bone formation in the joint cavity consistent with osseous ankylosis. Radiographs of the resected DIJ region obtained at the time of histological examination revealed no osseous ankylosis in two cows, partial ankylosis in one cow and complete osseous ankylosis in four cows. Formation of complete osseous ankylosis after resection of the DIJ did take longer than 1-2 years in three of our specimens indicating a longer time span compared to earlier studies.