Case: External fixator to fix a horrible radius and ulna fracture in a cat

Kwazii presented with a comminuted (shattered), open (soft tissue wounds connecting the fracture to the outside) fracture of the radius and ulna (bones of the forearm). This very likely followed a road traffic accident. The head of the radius is supposed to abut against the humerus (the bone of the upper arm) at the elbow joint. But the radial head in this case was pointing 90 degrees the wrong way.

This was a challenging fracture and many might have considered amputation as a realistic treatment choice.

With open fractures, placing buried metalwork like plates carries the risk of harbouring infection. So Maciej reduced the fracture (put it back together) and did a nice job of fixing it with a hybrid external fixator with rings and linear rods linking various pins that were inserted into the radius and the ulna.

The post-op radiographs looked very pleasing. We couldn’t have hoped for better reduction.

Kwazii was discharged to the owner’s care and will spend the next few weeks in a cage while we monitor the progress of healing.

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Happy as you like, just gone home, 2 days post op

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