Open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation of fractures involving the distal aspect of the radius and ulna in miniature- and toy-breed dogs: 102 cases (2008-2015)

De Arburn Parent R, Benamou J, Gatineau M, Clerfond P, Planté J. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017 Jun 15; 250 (12): 1419-1426.

OBJECTIVE: To determine outcomes and complication rates of open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation of fractures involving the distal aspect of the radius and ulna in miniature- and toy-breed dogs. DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS: 102 miniature- and toy-breed dogs (105 fractures) weighing ≤ 7 kg (15.4 lb) that had undergone open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation of a fracture involving the distal aspect of the radius and ulna from 2008 through 2015.

PROCEDURES: Medical records were reviewed and information extracted regarding dog and fracture characteristics, surgical variables, and follow-up examination data (including postoperative complications). Postoperative radiographs were examined for distal fragment size, implant placement, apposition, alignment, and healing stage. A long-term follow-up questionnaire was completed by telephone interview with dog owners at least 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS: Mean length of the distal bone fragment in all fractures was 19.2 mm, with a mean distal-to-total radial length ratio of 0.21. At last follow-up examination (typically 6 weeks after surgery), 97 (95%) dogs had no signs of lameness; minor lameness was identified in 5 (5%) dogs. Complications developed in 26 (25%) fractures (23 [22%] minor and 3 [3%] major complications). Sixty-eight of 71 (96%) owners rated the overall and long-term outcome as excellent and 3 (4%) as good; 68 of 71 (96%) dogs reportedly had no signs of residual lameness.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Open reduction and cranial bone plate fixation for the treatment of radius-ulna fractures in miniature- and toy-breed dogs provided an excellent outcome with a low complication rate.