Case: Femoral capital physis fracture

Nellie a 5 month old female Border Collie, destined to be a working sheep dog, managed to break the ball of her femur off the rest of the femur. The fracture occurred through the growth plate. These can be fiddly to fix because there isn’t much bone, and what there is is very soft with a lousy blood supply. Couple that to the fact that you can only fix it with flimsy fine pins and these injuries happen in bouncy pups, and the owners had to be prepared for failure and a plan B, which involves simply removing the ball of the ball and socket joint (femoral head and neck excision, see our other articles on this technique).

On the plus side, Nellie was a cracking little dog and very well behaved, the owners were committed to getting the best functional outcome that they could, and they are farmers, well used to handling animals.

The outcome was very good and it healed reliably in a few weeks.