ISSN 2398-2950      

Radius and ulna: fracture

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Introduction

  • Cause: fractures of the feline radius and ulna occur predominantly as a result of major trauma, usually a road traffic accident or fall from a height. 
  • 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. 
      • Diaphyseal fractures. 
      • Fracture of the distal physis. 
      • Styloid process (distal lateral protuberance) fracture. 
    • Ulna:      
      • Fractures of the proximal olecranon physis.     
      • Fractures of the olecranon.  
      • Diaphyseal fractures. 
      • Monteggia lesions - ulna fracture with elbow dislocation. 
      • Styloid process fracture. 
  • Treatment: surgical treatment is recommended in the majority of cases. Conservative management can be considered for undisplaced fractures or radial fractures when the ulna is intact; or some ulnar fractures when the radius is intact. 
  • Prognosis: when managed appropriately and promptly the prognosis for radial fractures is generally good to excellent. 

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
  • Brioschi V, Langley-Hobbs S J, Kerwin S, Meeson R, Radke H (2017) Combined physeal fractures of the distal radius and ulna: complications associated with K-wire fixation and long-term prognosis in six cats. J Feline Med Surg 19(8), 907-914 PubMed.
  • Schmierer P A, Pozzi A (2017) Guidelines for surgical approaches for minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis in cats. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 30(4), 272-278 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.
  • Irubetagoyena I, Lopez T, Autefage A (2011) Type IV Monteggia fracture in a cat. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 24(6), 483-486 PubMed.
  • Wallace A M, De La Puerta B, Trayhorn D, Moores A P, Langley-Hobbs S J (2009) Feline combined diaphyseal radial and ulnar fractures. A retrospective study of 28 cases. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 22(1), 38-46 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

  • Montavon P, Voss K, Langley-Hobbs S J (2009) Radius and ulna. In: Feline Orthopedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Disease. Saunders Elsevier.
  • Scott H, McLaughlin R (2006) Fractures and Disorders of the Forelimb. In: Feline Orthopaedics. CRC Press.  

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