Closed reduction and type-II external fixation of comminuted fractures of the radius and tibia in dogs: 23 cases (1990–1994)

Ann L. Johnson From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (A. L. Johnson, Seitz, Smith, J. M. Johnson) and Veterinary Biosciences (Schaeffer), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM, MS
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Susan E. Seitz From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (A. L. Johnson, Seitz, Smith, J. M. Johnson) and Veterinary Biosciences (Schaeffer), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 DVM, MS
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C. W. Smith From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (A. L. Johnson, Seitz, Smith, J. M. Johnson) and Veterinary Biosciences (Schaeffer), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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Janna M. Johnson From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (A. L. Johnson, Seitz, Smith, J. M. Johnson) and Veterinary Biosciences (Schaeffer), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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David J. Schaeffer From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (A. L. Johnson, Seitz, Smith, J. M. Johnson) and Veterinary Biosciences (Schaeffer), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 PhD

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Objective

To describe a technique for closed reduction of and application of a type-II external fixator to comminuted fractures of the radius and tibia in dogs and to evaluate outcome of the technique in a series of client-owned dogs.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

23 dogs that underwent closed reduction of severely comminuted (≥ 5 fragments); mid-diaphyseal radial (n = 9); and tibial (n = 14) fractures and stabilization with a type-II external fixator.

Procedure

Radiographs were made postoperatively and every 4 to 6 weeks until the fixator was removed. The effect of type of fracture (open vs closed), type of pins (threaded vs smooth), and number of fixation pins on surgery time, time between surgery and development of bridging callus, and time between surgery and removal of the fixator was evaluated using one-sided Student's t-tests.

Results

21 fractures healed after a single surgery. Two dogs with radial fractures required a second procedure because of complications. All fractures healed with the original fixation device in place. Mean time between surgery and the development of bridging callus was 11.4 weeks (range, 4 to 22 weeks), and mean time between surgery and fixator removal was 14.7 weeks (range, 4 to 27 weeks). Type of fracture, type of pins, and number of fixation pins did not have a significant effect on surgery time, time to development of bridging callus, or time to fixator removal.

Clinical Implications

Closed reduction and application of a type-II external fixator was an effective method of treating severely comminuted radial and tibial fractures. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1445–1448)

Objective

To describe a technique for closed reduction of and application of a type-II external fixator to comminuted fractures of the radius and tibia in dogs and to evaluate outcome of the technique in a series of client-owned dogs.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

23 dogs that underwent closed reduction of severely comminuted (≥ 5 fragments); mid-diaphyseal radial (n = 9); and tibial (n = 14) fractures and stabilization with a type-II external fixator.

Procedure

Radiographs were made postoperatively and every 4 to 6 weeks until the fixator was removed. The effect of type of fracture (open vs closed), type of pins (threaded vs smooth), and number of fixation pins on surgery time, time between surgery and development of bridging callus, and time between surgery and removal of the fixator was evaluated using one-sided Student's t-tests.

Results

21 fractures healed after a single surgery. Two dogs with radial fractures required a second procedure because of complications. All fractures healed with the original fixation device in place. Mean time between surgery and the development of bridging callus was 11.4 weeks (range, 4 to 22 weeks), and mean time between surgery and fixator removal was 14.7 weeks (range, 4 to 27 weeks). Type of fracture, type of pins, and number of fixation pins did not have a significant effect on surgery time, time to development of bridging callus, or time to fixator removal.

Clinical Implications

Closed reduction and application of a type-II external fixator was an effective method of treating severely comminuted radial and tibial fractures. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1445–1448)

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