Fracture repair is surgery involving the application of various metal surgical implants such as pins, wires, plates, or screws to restore broken bones to their original anatomic position and rigidly fix them in place while healing occurs.
In some cases, the fracture may be too severe to permit perfect anatomic restoration of all pieces, but there will still usually be a way of providing stability to the fractured bone and to allow use of the limb during the healing period.
Choosing to repair a fracture involving the placement of metal implants versus placing and maintaining casts or splints should be decided mutually by you and your pets’ vet. Keeping casts clean and dry, and avoiding pressure sores under the bandage material, can be nearly impossible in active pets. In addition, in very small animals, the weight of a cast or splint may make it difficult to near impossible for the animal to get around comfortably if at all.
After surgery, it will be your job as the owner to follow the post-operative care instructions, activity must be under strict control. Surgical implants are strong but neither the implants nor the healing bone can withstand high energy or high impact movements. Keeping the animal from licking at the surgical incision is imperative, at least until the sutures are removed. Persistent licking at a surgical wound will delay healing and is the major cause of incision infections.
The most common indications of a fracture are swelling, inability to use the limb, whining or crying and being extremely sensitive to touch. If you suspect a fracture in your pet do not hesitate in bringing them in.