Open Fracture of the Forearm Bones due to Horse Bite


What to Learn from this Article?

Management of compound fracture secondary to horse bite

Case Report |  Volume 4 | Issue 1 | JOCR Jan-Mar 2014 | Page 7-10 | Santoshi J A, Lall L

DOI: 10.13107/jocr.2250-0685.138

Authors: Santoshi J A[1], Lall L[1]

[1]Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, Padhar Hospital, Padhar, Betul, MP 460005. India.

Address of Correspondence:

Dr. John A. Santoshi, Dept. of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal – 462024 Madhya Pradesh. India. Email:


Introduction: Fractures have been described mainly following falling accidents in horse-related injuries. Horse bites are uncommon accidents. We present a case of open fracture of the forearm due to horse bite.

Case Report: A 35-year-old male farm-worker presented to the emergency room with alleged history of horse bite to the right forearm about 2 hours prior to presentation while feeding the horse. There was deformity of the forearm with multiple puncture wounds, deep abrasions and small lacerations on the distal-third of the forearm. Copious irrigation with normal saline was done and he was administered anti-tetanus and post-exposure rabies prophylaxis. Prophylactic antibiotic therapy was commenced. Radiographs revealed fracture of radius and ulna in the mid-shaft region. He underwent emergency wound debridement, and the ulna was stabilised with an intra-medullary square nail. Seventy-two hours later, he underwent re-debridement and conversion osteosynthesis. He had an uneventful recovery and at three-month follow-up, the fractures had healed radiographically in anatomic alignment. At two-year follow-up, he is doing well, is pain free and has a normal range of motion compared to the contralateral side.

Conclusion: Horse bites behave as compound fractures however rabies prophylaxis will be needed and careful observation is needed. Early radical debridement, preliminary skeletal stabilisation, re-debridement and conversion osteosynthesis to plate, and antibiotic prophylaxis were the key to the successful management of our patient.

Keywords: Horse; animal bite; forearm; open fracture.

How to Cite This Article: Santoshi J A, Lall L. Open Fracture of the Forearm Bones due to Horse Bite. Journal of Orthopaedic Case Reports 2014 Jan-Mar ;4(1): 7-10. Available from:



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