Miniplate Reconstruction of Severely Comminuted Maxillary Fractures in Two Dogs


  • Randy J. Boudrieau DVM, Diplomate ACVS

    1. From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, N. Grafton, MA.   Presented at the 30th Annual Conference of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, Steamboat Springs, CO, February 2003.
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Address reprint requests to Dr. Randy J. Boudrieau, Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536. E-mail:


Objective— To describe the treatment of severely comminuted maxillary fractures that resulted in separation of the maxilla from the base of the skull in 2 dogs. The structural areas of support, identified by thicker areas of bones of the skull, were used as a guide to apply buttress plate fixation, with miniplates using these apparent structural buttresses.

Study Design— Case report.

Sample Population— A 1-year-old Borzoi and a 5-year-old German shepherd dog.

Results— Fractures were repaired in a single procedure that resulted in excellent postoperative occlusion, immediate function, and cosmetic result. Healing was uneventful. Full function and excellent cosmetic appearance were still evident at 5 years, and the miniplates have not been removed.

Conclusions— Long-term outcome appeared to justify surgical reconstruction of these severely comminuted fractures with miniplate methods similar to those used in human maxillofacial surgery. Miniplates were easily contoured 3-dimensionally and placed along apparent lines of buttress support. Miniplate fixation provided a simple method to secure the bone fragments with excellent stability while maintaining both bony and soft tissue stability.

Clinical Relevance— Severely comminuted maxillary fractures in the dog may be repaired with miniplate fixation, using fixation principles identical to those used for similarly complex fractures in human maxillofacial surgery.