George the hill runner
George is a middle aged greyhound who presented to the hospital after an adventurous day in the hills. He spent the morning showing off his greyhound agility and speed by racing around and enjoying an open field. Unfortunately he became unstuck when he miscalculated his run and had a rough fall down a hill. Shortly after, he returned up the hill on three legs, holding his left front leg up with an obvious break above the carpus (wrist).
When he arrived at the hospital, he was started on intravenous fluids and injectable pain relief to keep him comfortable. Radiographs (x-rays) were taken and surgery was planned to get George back on four legs. The radiographs revealed a completely displaced (no longer touching), transverse (straight across), distal (towards the carpus), diaphyseal (shaft) fracture of both the radius and ulna. This fracture was complicated by the presence of fissuring (hair line separation) of the proximal (towards the elbow) radius which further weakens the bone in this area.
We set about making a plan for repair of the fracture which is a complicated and challenging process. A successful fracture repair must combine the mechanical needs of the bone as well as respecting the biological demands of the animal in order for healing to take place. We elected to place a broad locking plate into the radius to both realign and span the fracture. This was placed adhering to the principles of minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO). This involves making a small stab incision at the top and bottom of the bone through which the plate is placed and the screws are inserted. The initial repair looked good on the radiographs following surgery and George was bearing weight on the leg the next day.
George went home the day after surgery whereby he underwent a 10 week period of confined activity and regular leash controlled activities. Radiographs obtained two months after surgery confirmed successful healing of the fracture and no implant concerns. Four months after surgery George was back running in the hills and so far, he has managed to avoid any further visits to NorthWest Surgeons.