OBJECTIVE: To report the clinical outcomes of miniature- and toy-breed dogs with primary and previously treated distal radial and ulnar fractures (RUF) treated with a free-form multiplanar type II external skeletal fixation (ESF).
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.
ANIMALS: One hundred nineteen dogs with 140 distal RUF.
METHODS: Medical records (2003-2017) were reviewed for dogs weighing up to 7 kg that had been treated for distal RUF with a free-form multiplanar type II ESF. Data collected included signalment, fracture location and configuration, fracture reduction, intraoperative realignment, time to bone union and implant removal, duration of destabilization and postoperative splint, complications, and outcomes. Follow-up consisted of clinical and radiographic evaluation or telephone interview.
RESULTS: All fractures healed, with a median time of 60 days, and entire ESF was removed, with a median time of 89 days. Major complications occurred in four fractures: premature pin loosening, elbow subluxation, osteomyelitis, and delayed union. Minor complications occurred in 52 fractures (61 events). All dogs had a successful return to normal limb function at final follow-up (median, seven months; range, 2-97).
CONCLUSION: All primary and previously treated distal RUF in miniature- and toy-breed dogs healed and allowed return to normal function after fixation with a free-form multiplanar type II ESF.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The free-form multiplanar type II ESF provides an alternative for minimally invasive fixation of distal RUF in miniature- and toy-breed dogs that facilitates fracture reduction, intraoperative realignment, adequate initial fixation stability, destabilization, and implant removal.