External skeletal fixation for the treatment of pelvic fractures in cats

Noel Fitzpatrick, James W Guthrie, Michael H Hamilton
Vet Surg. 2024 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/vsu.14132.

Objective: To report the technique and the outcome for the repair of pelvic fractures in cats using external skeletal fixation (ESF).

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: Client-owned cats (n = 125).

Methods: Medical records of cats with pelvic fractures, treated with an ESF between June 2001 and June 2009, were reviewed. Preoperative, immediate postoperative, and more than 4 weeks' postoperative radiographs were compared. Clinical examination was performed 4 to 9 weeks following surgery. Longer term follow up (4 to 80 months) was conducted by client questionnaire.

Results: No intraoperative complications occurred. There was no change in the pelvic canal width observed on follow-up radiographs (p = .16). Implant loosening was noted on follow-up radiographs in 16/125 (13%) of cases, and 67/803 (8%) pins were palpably loose at the time of frame removal. The mean time to frame removal was 37 ± 9 days. No long-term complications were reported. Long-term mean mobility score was 95 ± 5 and median lameness was 0 (range: 0-2).

Conclusion: An ESF may be successfully applied for the stabilization of various pelvic fractures in cats.

Clinical significance: The application of an ESF for the management of pelvic fractures in cats provides good outcomes.