Paddington is an extremely lively, active little Yorkshire Terrier. His favourite activity at home was to climb onto the back of the chairs in the living room and watch the world go by through the window. Sometimes he got so excited he would jump straight off the top of the chair! One day, when jumping, he landed really awkwardly and broke the radius and ulna in his front leg.
The fracture was close to the wrist (carpus) joint which made repair more challenging. We elected to reduce and fix the fracture with a stainless steel plate. It is essential to have at least three screws attaching the plate to the bone both above and below the fracture. Otherwise, there is not sufficient strength for the internal ‘splint’ to support the bone’s fusion effectively and the repair is more likely to fail.
Because there was only a small piece of bone below the fracture and above the joint, and because there are a lot of tendons attached to the bone close to this joint, we used a ‘T-plate’. This plate has the bottom two screw holes perpendicular to the rest of the screw holes, thus shortening the plate without compromising its holding power. Furthermore we used a compression plate, which allows the drill holes closest to the fracture to to be offset in order to force the bone ends together as the screws are tightened.
Paddington’s fracture has healed well and he is once again bouncing about – in fact it has been hard to stop him from being too active and his owners have had to re-arrange their furniture to prevent his acrobatics!
X-ray of fracture