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T-Plate Fixation of Distal Radial Closing Wedge Osteotomies for Treatment of Angular Limb Deformities in 18 Dogs

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To describe the surgical technique and clinical results of treatment for forelimb angular limb deformities, secondary to premature distal radial or ulnar physeal closure, by using T-plate fixation of a distal radial closing wedge osteotomy in 18 dogs. Study Design

Retrospective clinical study. Sample Population

18 client-owned dogs. Methods

The medical records of 18 dogs that underwent a distal radial closing wedge osteotomy with T-plate fixation for correction of a forelimb angular limb deformity were reviewed. Small pins (Kirschner wires) were used to obtain the appropriate alignment of the antebrachiocarpal and elbow joints and proper limb orientation. In-hospital follow-up evaluation was obtained at the time fracture healing was observed radiographically. Further long-term follow-up was obtained by owner interview. Results

Osteotomy sites were radiographically healed within 4 to 12 weeks (mean, 8 weeks) after surgery in the 14 dogs that returned for in-hospital follow-up. Limb function was graded as good or excellent in all dogs. Long-term follow-up by owner interview rated limb function and cosmetic appearance as good to excellent in all dogs. Plate removal was necessary in one dog 7 months after surgery because of osteopenia in the radius. Conclusion

This surgical technique was considered successful in the treatment of angular limb deformities in all dogs. A good to excellent prognosis is to be expected with this technique, with minimal complications. Clinical Relevance

The use of a T-plate for the correction of angular limb deformities has not been previously described in the literature. This technique permits accurate correction of the angular limb deformity and minimizes postoperative complications.

© Copyright 2000 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, N. Grafton, MA.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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