Objective: To evaluate the clinical outcome of minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) for nonarticular tibial fractures stabilized using bone plates with or without an intramedullary rod (IMR).
Study Design: Prospective study.
Animals: Dogs (n=28) and 8 cats.
Methods: After closed reduction, fracture fixation was achieved using an epiperiosteal plate inserted percutaneously through epiphyseal small incisions. In some fractures, an IMR was inserted via medial parapatellar arthrotomy. Radiographs were recommended every 3 weeks until clinical union. Postoperative tibial length and alignment were compared with contralateral measurements (P<.05). Time to clinical union and complications were recorded.
Results: An IMR was used in 30.5% of the cases. Repaired tibiae were 1% shorter than contralateral tibiae (P<.05). Frontal and sagittal alignment were similar between repaired and contralateral tibiae (P>.05). Six dogs were lost for follow-up; owners indicated normal function. In 30 cases for which bone healing was documented, mean±SD healing time was 45±20.8 days; however, when considering the 23 cases, which completed preestablished scheduled follow-ups, healing time was 36±11.6 days. Minor complications occurred in 4 cases (11%). One major complication (3%) consisting of a plate fracture was successfully revised using MIPO with a larger plate.
Conclusions: Consistent restoration of alignment was accomplished using MIPO techniques. Furthermore, MIPO appeared to yield faster healing times and lower complication rates than those reported with conventional plate osteosynthesis.