Case: Tibial growth plate fracture in a pup
20th December 2015
Ralph, a 5 month old Yorkie pup, suffered a fracture of the proximal (top) end of his tibia (shin) bone just below his stifle (knee). This fracture involved the growth plate, the cartilage zone from which bone grows and which appears as a black line on x-rays near the ends of the long bones in growing dogs.
Although the fracture hadn’t displaced (moved) far, it had rotated so that the top of the tibia, the tibial plateau, was now very steep. Some have suggested that this could predispose to cruciate ligament disease later in life.
Ralph was pretty tough for a toy dog, but nevertheless, he was completely carrying the leg. So we reduced the fracture and fixed it two pins and a tension wire. Care was taken to avoid injury to the patella tendon. To give a sense of scale, the tension wire is only 0.8mm thick.