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Repair of Radial Fractures in Toy Breed Dogs with Self-Reinforced Biodegradable Bone Plates, Metal Screws, and Light-Weight External Coaptation

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To describe a surgical technique for, and outcome after, treatment of radial fractures with biodegradable self-reinforced polylactide plates and metal screws, and external coaptation. Study Design

Prospective clinical study. Sample Population

Eleven Toy breed dogs. Methods

Radial fractures were repaired by application of a single or 2 stacked biodegradable self-reinforced polylactide plates (poly-l/d,l-lactide, stereocopolymer [ll-anddl-lactide ratio 70/30]; SR-PLA (70/30) implants) secured with metal screws, and light-weight external coaptation. Healing was evaluated clinically and by radiography at 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 24–26 weeks, and at 1 and 2 years. Owners were interviewed 3 years after surgery. Results

Radial fracture lines disappeared within 4–14 weeks in 10 dogs; an implant failed in 1 dog. Ambulation was excellent for healed fractures. Excessive skin tension led to removal of implants in 1 dog and suture repair in another dog. No foreign body reaction from implant degradation was observed and the plate was usually no longer palpable at 2 years. One dog had a fracture through a screw hole at 1 year. Conclusion

Healing and complication rates after repair of radial fractures with SR-PLA (70/30) plates were considered similar or better than reported after repair with metallic plates or external fixation in Toy breed dogs. No radiographic signs of osteopenia were identified under the plate during follow-up. Clinical Relevance

Biodegradable polylactide plates could be considered as an alternative to metal plates for radial fracture repair in Toy breed dogs, however available plates are likely not strong enough when used as a single plate. Implant removal is usually not needed.
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Keywords: biodegradable plates; fracture healing; polylactide implants; radius; toy breed dogs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Espoo Animal Hospital, Espoo, Finland, The Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Bionx Implants Ltd, Tampere, Finland.

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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