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Radius and ulna: fracture

icanis

Introduction

  • Cause: fractures of the canine radius and ulna occur predominantly as a result of major trauma, usually a road traffic accident, sometimes a fall from a height. Rarely they can occur as a result of a bite or a gunshot injury.  
  • Signs: acute onset, (non-weight) bearing forelimb lameness is the most common presentation.  
  • Fractures can be divided into regions:   
    • Radius:   
      • Fractures of the proximal physis.  
      • Mid diaphyseal fractures.  
      • Distal diaphyseal / metaphyseal fractures. 
      • Fracture of the distal physis.  
      • Articular, distal epiphysis fractures. 
    • Ulna:       
      • Fractures of the proximal olecranon physis.      
      • Fractures of the olecranon.   
      • Diaphyseal fractures.  
      • Monteggia fracture - ulna fracture with radio-humeral luxation.  
      • Distal; styloid process fracture.  
  • Treatment: surgical treatment is recommended in the majority of cases. Conservative management can be considered for non-displaced fractures, some radial fractures when the ulna is intact; or ulnar fractures when the radius is intact.  
  •  Prognosis: when managed appropriately and promptly the prognosis for radial fractures is generally good to excellent.  
Exception: distal radial fractures in small / toy breed dogs have a high complication rate including non-union, re-fracture and malalignment.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource
  • Aikawa T, Miyazaki Y, Saitoh Y, Sadahiro  S, Nishimura M (2019) Clinical outcomes of 119 miniature- and toy-breed dogs with 140 distal radial and ulnar fractures repaired with free-form multiplanar type II external skeletal fixation. Vet Surg 48(6), 938-946 PubMed.  
  • Aikawa T, Miyazaki Y, Shimatsu T, Iizuka K, Nishimura M (2018) Clinical Outcomes and Complications after Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Utilizing Conventional Plates in 65 Distal Radial and Ulnar Fractures of Miniature- and Toy-Breed Dogs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 31(3) 214-217 PubMed
  • Munakata S, Nagahiro Y, Katori D, Muroi N, Akagi H, Kanno N, Harada Y, Yamaguchi S, Hayashi K, Hara Y (2018) Clinical Efficacy of Bone Reconstruction Surgery with Frozen Cortical Bone Allografts for Nonunion of Radial and Ulnar Fractures in Toy Breed Dogs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 31(3), 159-169 PubMed.  
  • Hudson C C, Lewis D D, Pozzi A (2012) Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis in small animals: radius and ulna fractures. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 42(5), 983-996 PubMed.
  • Hamilton M H, Langley-Hobbs S J (2005) Use of the AO veterinary mini 'T'-plate for stabilisation of distal radius and ulna fractures in toy breed dogs. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 18(1),18-25 PubMed
  • Milovancev M, Ralphs S C (2004) Radius / ulna fracture repair. Clin Tech Small Anim Pract 19(3),128-133 PubMed
  • Schwarz P D, Schrader S C (1984) Ulnar fracture and dislocation of the proximal radial epiphysis (Monteggia lesion) in the dog and cat: a review of 28 cases. J Am Vet Med Assoc 185(2), 190-194 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Girling S (2016) The radius and ulna. In: BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Fracture Repair and Management. Chapter 21. Eds Gemmill T & Clements D, BSAVA publishing. ISBN: 978-1-905-31968-8 
  • DeCamp C E (2016) Fractures of the Radius and Ulna. In: Brinker, Piermattei, and Flo’s Handbook of Small Animal Othopedics and Fracture Repair. 5th edn, Chapter 13. Eds DeCamp CE, Johnston S A, Dejardin L M, Schaefer S L, Elsevier Inc. ISBN: 978-1-4377-2364-9.

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