Unusual fracture for indoor cat makes Bertie Pet of the Month

Bertie 1

Bertie is an indoor cat, so his owners were mystified to find him at home with what seemed to be a broken leg, an injury almost exclusively associated with outside incidents like road traffic accidents or falling from a high vantage point, like a roof.

An examination by one of our vets confirmed the fracture but a radiograph (x-ray) was required to check exactly where the fracture was, to assess how complicated the reconstruction would be and to allow us to plan the procedure to repair Bertie’s leg.

Bertie 3

The fracture site is clearly visible.

Thankfully Bertie had a ‘clean’ (uncomplicated) break of both his radius and ulna (the 2 bones in the lower arm, below the elbow). We repaired these using a pin, a plate and screws. The first stage was to pin the ulna, after which we placed a plate with nine screws along the front of the broader radius, across the fracture site.

Traditionally, only the radius is plated in fractures, leaving the ulna to ‘sort itself’, but by stabilising both bones with implants the repair is far stronger than a plate on its own. There are two main reasons for this: the pin re-aligns the ulna so it can bear some of the weight and take some strain off the radius; and the pin within the ulna also resists bending forces which are the most threatening to the success of plate repairs.

Bertie 4

Bertie’s fracture post surgery, showing the plate on his radius and an intramedullary pin in his ulna.

We’re delighted with Bertie’s progress and recovery. And he’s just as pleased to have a fully functioning leg and to be back on all fours!

Bertie 2