Canine and Feline Minimally Invasive or Open Fracture Repair
Fractures can affect all bones of the body and come in all different types of fracture configurations. Some of these fractures can heal on their own using splints or casts, but most benefit from surgical re-alignment and stabilization. Some important concepts for owners to understand are the following:
- Fractures that involve the growth plates in puppies are urgent and should ideally be surgically re-aligned and surgically stabilized within 48-72 hours following injury. The longer the duration of time that passes between when such fracture occurs and when the growth plate is stabilized, the more difficult it is to optimally re-align such fracture and salvage continued growth from the growth plate. As a result, if you think your puppy may have a fracture, please seek evaluation promptly after the injury.
- Fractures that occur in adult dogs are also more difficult to re-align as time wears on. However, because a growth plate is not involved in adult dog fractures, the stabilization time frame can be extended to 5 days.
- If one attempts to use a cast or splint for several weeks with the plan of then doing surgery later should the bone fail to heal, it is worth noting that chronic, non-healing fractures are far more difficult to re-align, more costly, and have a lower likelihood of healing.
- In summary, most, but not all, fractures benefit from early, prompt surgical re-alignment and stabilization. We have extensive experience in this area so please don’t hesitate to reach out to use to seek an opinion or guidance.