Objective: To describe a novel surgical approach to treat a critical-sized bone defect due to severe, radial atrophic nonunion in a miniature dog.
Study design: Case report ANIMAL: A 1-year-old Yorkshire terrier with a critical-sized left radial defect after failed internal fixation of a transverse radial fracture.
Methods: Computed tomographic (CT) images of the radius were imported for three-dimensional (3D) printing of a custom-designed synthetic 3D-printed β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) scaffold. The radius was exposed, and the β-TCP scaffold was press-fitted in the bone gap underneath the plate. Recombinant human bone morphogenic protein-2 (RhBMP-2) collagen sponges were squeezed to soak the scaffold with growth factor and then placed on both sides of the synthetic graft. Two additional cortical screws were also placed prior to routine closure of the surgical site.
Results: Radiographic examination was consistent with complete healing of the radius defect 4 months after surgery. The bone plate was removed 10 months after surgery. According to CT examination 18 months after surgery, there was no evidence of the synthetic graft; instead, complete corticalization of the affected area was noted. Complete functional recovery was observed until the last clinical follow-up 36 months postoperatively.
Conclusion: Screw fixation and use of a 3D-printed ceramic scaffold augmented with rhBMP-2 resulted in excellent bone regeneration of the nonunion and full recovery of a miniature breed dog.
Clinical significance: The therapeutic approach used in this dog could be considered as an option for treatment of large-bone defects in veterinary orthopedics, especially for defects affecting the distal radius of miniature dogs.