PMID: 14984151Feb 27, 2004Paper

Treatment of canine and feline diaphyseal radial and tibial fractures with low-stiffness external skeletal fixation

The Journal of Small Animal Practice
T J GemmillS Carmichael


The healing of 62 cases of radial and tibial fractures treated with low-stiffness Kirschner-Ehmer external skeletal fixation frames (frame types 1a, 1a plus intramedullary pin [1aIMP], 1b and 2b) was evaluated. The mean time to clinical union was 65 days. All cases treated with 1b, 2b or 1aIMP frames healed. Four of 25 cases treated with 1a frames failed to heal due to premature pin loosening; these failures were in heavier patients than 1a cases which healed (P=0.041). Complications occurred in 40 of 62 cases, and were more common in cases treated with type 2b frames. Pin loosening was the most frequent complication (35 cases) and most commonly involved the most proximal pin (P<0.001). In type 2b frames, full pins loosened more frequently than half pins (P<0.001). This study indicates that canine and feline fractures can heal readily when treated with these frames, suggesting that more rigid type 2a or type 3 frames are unnecessary in the majority of cases. Increased morbidity compared with the use of more rigid frames need not be expected, but 1a frames should be avoided in heavier patients.


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