Medical records of wild bird admissions to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville Sanctuary were analyzed for cases of unilateral coracoid fractures with known final outcomes. Forty-seven birds, comprising 13 species, fit these criteria. Of those birds, 18 were treated conservatively with analgesia and cage rest without coaptation bandaging, and 29 were treated with surgical correction of the fracture. Of the conservatively managed birds, 89% (16 of 18) were released back into the wild. Conversely, 34% (10 of 29) of the surgically managed birds were released. Treatment success for release differed significantly between treatment groups (P < .001). Intraoperative death from concurrent trauma was the major reason that surgically treated birds were not released. Given the high risks associated with surgical treatment and the high success rate of conservative management, cage rest without surgery appears prudent when managing coracoid injuries in birds.
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