Spontaneous femoral capital physeal fractures in adult cats: 26 cases (1996–2001)

Walter T. McNicholas Jr Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
present address is Palm Beach Veterinary Referral and Critical Care Center, 3092 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406.

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Brent E. Wilkens Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, 4444 Trinity Mills Rd, Dallas, TX 75287.

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William E. Blevins Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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Paul W. Snyder Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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George P. McCabe Department of Statistics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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Aric A. Applewhite Department of Small Animal Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Peter H. Laverty Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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Gert J. Breur Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical, radiographic, and histologic abnormalities in adult cats > 1 year old with spontaneous (ie, nontraumatic) femoral capital physeal fractures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—26 cats.

Procedure—Medical records of cats > 1 year old with femoral capital physeal fractures and no history of trauma were examined.

Results—Mean ± SD age of the cats was 22.5 ± 6.5 months. Twenty-five cats were neutered males. Mean weight of the cats was significantly greater than mean weight of a group of age- and sex-matched control cats. Of 16 cats for which age at the time of neutering was known, 14 had been neutered before 6 months of age. Nine cats had bilateral fractures. Severity of femoral neck osteolysis and sclerosis increased with increased duration of clinical signs. The contralateral femoral capital physis, distal femoral physes, and proximal tibial physes were radiographically open in 13 of 18, 19 of 24, and 24 of 24 cats, respectively. Histologically, the epiphysis contained normal articular cartilage and bone, but attached growth plate cartilage lacked the normal columnar arrangement of chondrocytes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that adult cats with spontaneous femoral capital physeal fractures were most likely to be heavier, neutered males with delayed physeal closure. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1731–1736)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical, radiographic, and histologic abnormalities in adult cats > 1 year old with spontaneous (ie, nontraumatic) femoral capital physeal fractures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—26 cats.

Procedure—Medical records of cats > 1 year old with femoral capital physeal fractures and no history of trauma were examined.

Results—Mean ± SD age of the cats was 22.5 ± 6.5 months. Twenty-five cats were neutered males. Mean weight of the cats was significantly greater than mean weight of a group of age- and sex-matched control cats. Of 16 cats for which age at the time of neutering was known, 14 had been neutered before 6 months of age. Nine cats had bilateral fractures. Severity of femoral neck osteolysis and sclerosis increased with increased duration of clinical signs. The contralateral femoral capital physis, distal femoral physes, and proximal tibial physes were radiographically open in 13 of 18, 19 of 24, and 24 of 24 cats, respectively. Histologically, the epiphysis contained normal articular cartilage and bone, but attached growth plate cartilage lacked the normal columnar arrangement of chondrocytes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that adult cats with spontaneous femoral capital physeal fractures were most likely to be heavier, neutered males with delayed physeal closure. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1731–1736)

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