Orthopedic Greenwood AR
Repair of long oblique femoral fracture using IM pin and circlage wires.

Orthopedic surgery in pets is often necessary to fix fractures and common joint disorders. South County’s surgeons can repair these problems utilizing external and internal fixation. State-of-the-art procedures such as TTA for cranial cruciate ligament ruptures and bone plating are regularly performed at our facility by Dr. Mark Sharp. Advanced veterinary surgery is technically equivalent to that enjoyed by human patients and uses similar materials (implants, bone plates, fixator devices, autogenous and synthetic bone grafts).

Frequently used implants include:

Pin and wires
Plates and screws
Interlocking nails
External skeletal fixators (ESF)
Synthetic bone grafts

ESF utilizes fixation pins that are placed through the skin and into the bone fragments. A series of clamps and bars or rings are used to stabilize the major fracture fragments.

Orthopedic Greenwood AR
Radial fracture repair with external
fixator four weeks post-op.

Orthopedic Treatment In-depth

A comminuted fracture is defined as one that has more than two major fracture fragments. These fractures are inherently unstable. Fractures involving a joint require specific repair methods that allow early motion in the affected joint. Forces act at fracture sites needing stabilization and occur in the direction of the bone, perpendicular to the bone (bending or shear) or around the bone (rotational or torsional).

Many factors come into play when deciding definitive fracture repair. The type of repair undertaken must stabilize distracting forces.

Fractures that are inherently stable (such as a simple fibular fracture) may just require stabilization with a cast or splint. Using pins and wires is another method of stabilization.

To provide additional support, a supplemental external skeletal fixator (ESF) can provide additional axial and rotational stability. Besides placing a pin internally within the marrow cavity, pins are placed through the skin and into the bone fragments. The pins are attached with a series of clamps and connecting bars to provide stability that is more rigid.

Recently, the use of interlocking nails has been used in veterinary orthopedic surgery. This technique employs a large intramedullary (within the bone cavity) “pin” that is modified to accept locking screws through the bone and nail both above and below the fracture. This provides very secure fixation with minimal tissue invasion.

*Information on this page is adapted from information provided by PetPlace.com under the “Fair Use” Act.