Two raptors, a juvenile prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) and an adult female great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), were presented with luxation of the metacarpophalangeal joint. Additionally, the falcon had a distal metacarpal articular fracture, and the owl had an open wound at the luxation site. After supportive care, both birds were treated by arthrodesis of the metacarpophalangeal joint. A Type 1 external skeletal fixator was applied to stabilize the joint and to allow bony fusion to occur. Bony fusion occurred in 6 and 9 weeks in the falcon and the owl, respectively. Full flight capacity was restored, and both birds were released into the wild. Arthrodesis represents a viable option for the treatment of metacarpophalangeal joint luxations or articular fractures of the associated bone in avian species when treatment by reduction and stabilization fails.
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Vol. 18 • No. 1