Bone plates are rarely used in avian fracture management for several reasons, and until recently, there was no plating system considered appropriate for use in birds with a body mass less than 500 g. To evaluate 3 different miniplate systems in avian fracture repair, 3 groups (A, B, and C) of 6 pigeons (Columba livia) each were used. The left ulna and radius of the pigeons were transected, and the ulna was stabilized. In group A, a 1.3-mm adaption plate was used. In group B, a limited contact system was created with washers that were placed between a 1.3-mm adaption plate and the bone. The intention was to reduce the compression of the periosteum and vascular damage to the bone. In group C, a 1.0-mm maxillofacial miniplate was used. Healing was evaluated with radiographs after 14 and 28 days. A flight test was conducted on day 28; the birds were then euthanatized, and the wing was dissected. Birds in group A with the adaptation plate achieved the best flight results (100%). In group B birds, no effect of the limited contact concept was visible at necropsy, and a high percentage of the screws had loosened, leading to failure (33%). The maxillofacial miniplates of group C birds were too weak and bent (100%). These results indicate that the adaption plate 1.3 met the desired requirements. To improve the system, further trials, with smaller drill bits and with screws having a smaller thread pitch, are recommended.
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