Fracture Repair

Surgical Fracture Repair in Pets 

Surgical fracture repair in pets is a crucial and often necessary procedure that provides relief and proper healing for our beloved companions who have experienced bone fractures. Whether these fractures occur due to accidents, falls, or underlying health issues, skilled veterinary surgeons employ advanced techniques and specialized equipment to realign and stabilize broken bones. 

At Dogwood Veterinary Hospital in Newnan, our team of experienced veterinary surgeons is committed to helping your pet heal and thrive following a fracture. Don’t wait any longer to give your pet the expert care they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss the best treatment options for your pet’s unique situation.  

Trust our skilled professionals to guide your pet through the surgical fracture repair process and ensure a successful recovery. 

Common Fractures on Pets 

There are numerous types of fractures, which can be classified based on various factors such as the extent of the bone break, the involvement of the skin, the pattern of the fracture, and the location in the bone. Some of the common types of fractures include open, closed, incomplete, and complete fractures. 

Open Fracture 

An open fracture, also known as a compound fracture, is a type of bone break in which the broken bone punctures the skin and creates an open wound. This direct communication between the fracture site and the external environment increases the risk of infection and often requires more intensive treatment and management compared to closed fractures. Open fractures are considered more severe and typically necessitate surgical intervention to properly realign and stabilize the bone, as well as to clean and close the wound to minimize the chances of complications. 

Closed Fracture 

A closed fracture, also known as a simple fracture, is a type of bone break where the bone is broken but does not puncture the skin. The surrounding soft tissue remains intact, and there is no direct communication between the fracture site and the external environment. Closed fractures generally carry a lower risk of infection compared to open fractures since the skin remains unbroken. Treatment for closed fractures may involve immobilization with a cast, splint, or brace depending on which bone is affected. In most cases, surgical intervention to realign and stabilize the bone for proper healing is recommended. 

Incomplete Fracture 

An incomplete fracture is a type of bone break in which the bone is only partially broken or cracked, meaning it remains partially intact. This kind of fracture does not separate the bone into distinct pieces. Incomplete fractures are more common in children, as their bones are more flexible and less brittle than those of adults. Some types of incomplete fractures include greenstick fractures, where the bone bends and cracks on one side without breaking completely, and hairline fractures, which involve a thin crack in the bone. Treatment for incomplete fractures depends on the severity and location of the injury but typically involves immobilization using a cast, splint, or brace to allow the bone to heal. 

Complete Fracture 

A complete fracture is a type of bone break in which the bone is entirely broken, separating it into two or more distinct pieces. Unlike an incomplete fracture, where the bone remains partially intact, a complete fracture involves a full break across the bone’s width. Depending on the fracture pattern, complete fractures can be further classified into various subtypes, such as transverse, oblique, spiral, or comminuted fractures. Treatment for complete fractures may involve immobilization with a cast, splint, or brace, but in most cases, surgical intervention to realign and stabilize the bone fragments to promote proper healing is required. 

Surgical Fracture Repair Procedure 

Fracture repair procedures in pets are a specialized process carried out by skilled veterinary surgeons at Dogwood Veterinary Hospital to realign and stabilize broken bones, promoting proper healing and a return to normal function. 

While the specific steps and techniques can vary depending on the type and location of the fracture, as well as the pet’s overall health, the general process of surgical fracture repair typically involves the following steps: 

  1. Preoperative evaluation: The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination, including diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or CT scans, to assess the fracture’s severity, location, and type. This information helps in planning the most appropriate surgical approach. In most cases, sedation is required for diagnostic imaging in order to ensure the comfort of the pet as well as to reduce risk of further injury to the broken limb. 
  1. Anesthesia: To ensure the pet’s comfort and safety during the procedure, general anesthesia is administered, and vital signs are closely monitored throughout the surgery. Pain management is also an important part of anesthesia and a combination of local anesthetics, constant rate infusions of intravenous pain medications, and nerve blocks are used to ensure that each patient has a safe and comfortable anesthetic experience. 
  1. Surgical site preparation: The area around the fracture is shaved and cleaned with antiseptic solutions to minimize the risk of infection. 
  1. Incision and exposure: The surgeon makes an incision over the fracture site, carefully dissecting through the layers of soft tissue to expose the broken bone. 
  1. Fracture reduction: The broken bone fragments are carefully realigned and manipulated back into their normal anatomical position. 
  1. Fracture stabilization: Various techniques and devices may be used to hold the bone fragments in place and provide stability as they heal. These can include internal fixation methods, such as plates, screws, pins, or wires, or external fixation methods, like external skeletal fixators. 
  1. Wound closure: Once the bone is stabilized, the surgeon will close the layers of soft tissue using sutures and the skin is closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue. 
  1. Postoperative care: The pet is closely monitored during recovery from anesthesia, and pain management medications are administered to ensure comfort. The veterinarian may recommend a follow-up care plan, including regular check-ups, wound care, and rehabilitation exercises to aid in the pet’s recovery. 

It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s advice and instructions for postoperative care to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet’s healing and recovery. 

Post-Surgery: Anticipating Your Pet’s Recovery Following Fracture Repair 

Following a surgical fracture repair, it is essential to anticipate your pet’s recovery journey and ensure that you are well-prepared to support them throughout the process. At Dogwood Veterinary Hospital we ensure your pet’s comfort by monitoring pain and administering prescribed medications. We focus on rehabilitation and mobility to help your pet regain strength through recommended exercises, and we track progress milestones while maintaining communication with the pet owner for any concerns or adjustments. 

Monitoring and Managing Pain: Ensuring Your Pet’s Comfort 

Monitoring and managing pain are critical aspects of ensuring your pet’s comfort during their recovery from fracture repair surgery. Pain can hinder the healing process and negatively impact your pet’s overall well-being. Veterinarians typically prescribe appropriate pain-relief medications, such as anti-inflammatories and analgesics, to help control pain and keep your pet comfortable. It’s important to administer these medications as directed and observe your pet closely for any signs of discomfort, such as changes in behavior, appetite, or mobility. Communicate with your veterinarian regularly to discuss your pet’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to their pain management plan. By carefully monitoring and managing pain, you can provide a more comfortable and stress-free healing environment for your beloved pet. 

Rehabilitation and Mobility: Helping Your Pet Regain Strength 

Rehabilitation and mobility are crucial roles in helping your pet regain strength and return to their normal activities following fracture repair surgery. A well-planned rehabilitation program, often guided by your veterinarian or a certified rehabilitation therapist, can significantly improve your pet’s recovery.  

This program may include gentle range-of-motion exercises, stretching, and progressive weight-bearing activities to gradually restore mobility and muscle function. In some cases, hydrotherapy, massage, or other therapeutic modalities may be recommended to enhance the healing process. It is essential to follow the prescribed rehabilitation plan and communicate with your veterinarian or therapist regularly to monitor your pet’s progress and adjust the program as needed. By prioritizing rehabilitation and mobility, you can support your pet’s recovery and help them return to a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle. 

Progress Milestones: Tracking Your Pet’s Healing and Recovery 

Keeping track of progress milestones is an essential aspect of monitoring your pet’s healing and recovery following a fracture repair surgery. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian will help evaluate the healing process, ensure that the bone is mending properly, and address any potential complications. During these visits, your veterinarian may perform physical examinations and diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, to assess the progress of bone healing. Additionally, monitoring your pet’s daily activities, mobility, and behavior can provide valuable insights into their recovery.  

Take note of any improvements or setbacks and communicate this information to your veterinarian. By closely observing progress milestones and maintaining open communication with your veterinary team, you can make informed decisions about your pet’s care and optimize their recovery journey. 

Alternative Treatments for Fracture Repair 

While surgical fracture repair is often necessary for certain types of fractures, there are alternative treatment options available for less severe cases or when surgery is not suitable. Some alternative options for pet fracture treatment include: 

Casts, Splints, or Braces 

These immobilization devices are widely used for stable fractures or those that don’t require surgical intervention. They restrict movement and provide support, allowing the bone to heal properly. Unfortunately, these devices can only be used on certain bones in certain situations. Fractures that involve bones like the humerus, femur, scapula, or pelvis cannot be properly immobilized. 

Bandages and Slings 

Particularly for certain limb fractures, bandages or slings can be employed to offer support and immobilization during the healing process. They may also be used in the initial stages of recovery after surgery. 

Cage Rest and Restricted Activity 

For some fractures, especially in small pets or animals with low activity levels, cage rest or restricted activity can be an effective approach to allowing the bone to heal, while closely monitoring the pet’s progress to prevent complications. 

Affordable Rates, Expert Techniques, and Trustworthy Care 

Don’t let your pet suffer in pain from a fracture. Dogwood Veterinary Hospital offers affordable rates, expert techniques, and trustworthy care for your pet’s fracture repair needs. Our team of experienced professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality care for the Newnan community and ensuring a successful recovery for your beloved companion.  

Take the first step towards restoring your pet’s health and happiness by contacting us today to schedule a consultation. Experience the difference that affordable, expert, and compassionate care can make in your pet’s healing journey. 

What's Next

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    Meet with a doctor for an initial exam.

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    Put a plan together for your pet.