Spice is a little dog with a big spirit! At less than 3kg (6.5lb) in weight she has a fine frame that does not match her enthusiasm to jump about adventurously. Unfortunately, one day she jumped off too high a level and when she landed the radius and ulna in the forearm of her front left leg broke.
Thankfully the fracture was relatively clean and uncomplicated which allowed us to repair the bone using a plate, with three screws into the bone on either side of the break. The plate is contoured to fit the bone (radius) and then pre-stressed – which means that the plate is slight over-bent so that it applies compression to the fracture. The screws must pass through both sides of the bone (so that they do not slip or work loose) but must not interfere with the other bone in the leg (the ulna). The ulna did not require any fixation because it was naturally re-aligned by repairing the radius.
Fixing fractures with plates is a preferred option when applicable because they produce a rigid repair with a rapid return to use of the leg and no external casts, frames or pins that could irritate. Plates are usually left in place once the fracture has healed.