We perform many types of orthopedic (bone) surgeries in our hospital, including fracture repairs and reconstructive procedures. When a bone is fractured, we can sometimes select from several types of fixation techniques to stabilize the bone fragments, which include:
- Fiberglass casts are commonly used in humans; however, in dogs and cats, they have relatively limited applications due to the fact that animals will walk on all four of their limbs at all times. In general this technique is limited to toe fractures or may be used with another form of internal fixation.
- Intramedullary pinning stabilizes the fracture by inserting a long stainless-steel rod into the middle of the bone across the fractured area.
- Bone plating involves attaching a flat stainless-steel plate to the bone using screws on either side of the fracture.
- External fixation stabilizes fractures using a series of pins inserted at a 90° angle through the skin to the bone, which are then connected by an external rod or an epoxy-filled tube to stabilize the fracture segments.