Stabilization of Juxta-Physeal Distal Tibial and Fibular Fractures in a Juvenile Tiger Using a Hybrid Circular–Linear External Fixator

Authors

  • Alastair R. Coomer BVSc, MS, Diplomate ACVS,

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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  • Daniel D. Lewis DVM, Diplomate ACVS,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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  • Ellen Wiedner VMD, Diplomate ACVIM,

    1. Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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  • Ramiro Isaza DVM, MS, Diplomate ACZM,

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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  • Matthew D. Winter DVM, Diplomate ACVR,

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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  • Fabio Aloisio DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP,

    1. Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
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  • Roy Pool DVM, PhD

    1. Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
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  • Presented in part at the 36th Annual Conference of the Veterinary Orthopaedic Society, Steamboat Springs, CO, March 2009.

Corresponding Author

Daniel D. Lewis, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0126

E-mail: LewisDa@ufl.edu

Abstract

Objective

To report stabilization of closed, comminuted distal metaphyseal transverse fractures of the left tibia and fibula in a tiger using a hybrid circular–linear external skeletal fixator.

Study Design

Clinical report.

Animal

Juvenile tiger (15 months, 90 kg).

Methods

From imaging studies, the tiger had comminuted distal metaphyseal transverse fractures of the left tibia and fibula, with mild caudolateral displacement and moderate compression. Multiple fissures extended from the fractures through the distal metaphyses, extending toward, but not involving the distal tibial and fibular physes. A hybrid circular–linear external skeletal fixator was applied by closed reduction, to stabilize the fractures.

Results

The fractures healed and the fixator was removed 5 weeks after stabilization. Limb length and alignment were similar to the normal contralateral limb at hospital discharge, 8 weeks after surgery. Two weeks later, the tiger had fractures of the right tibia and fibula and was euthanatized. Necropsy confirmed pathologic fractures ascribed to copper deficiency.

Conclusion

Closed application of the hybrid construct provided sufficient stability to allow this 90 kg tiger's juxta-articular fractures to heal with minimal complications and without disrupting growth from the adjacent physes.

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