Bilateral fixation of Y-T humeral condyle fractures via medial and lateral approaches in 29 dogs



Objectives: To describe bilateral fixation of Y-T fractures of the humeral condyle via combined medial and lateral approaches, and to determine the technique's clinical and radiographic short-term outcomes.

Methods: Details of 30 consecutive fractures in 29 dogs were reviewed. These included signalment, method of fixation, complications, and follow-up limb function and range of elbow joint motion.

Results: The age of the dogs ranged from three months to nine years, and bodyweight ranged from 1.9 to 48 kg. The humeral condyle was reattached to the shaft using medial and lateral bone plates in 18 fractures, a medial plate and lateral Kirschner wire(s) in six fractures, and medial and lateral Kirschner wire(s) in six fractures. Major complications were recorded in four fractures and minor complications in two fractures. Limb function at follow-up was graded as excellent in 12, good in 15 and fair in three fractures. The range of elbow flexion was normal in seven, mildly reduced in 18, moderately reduced in four and severely reduced in one fracture.

Clinical Significance: In contrast to the caudal approach, combined medial and lateral approaches decrease the extent of periarticular soft tissue dissection, avoid complications associated with olecranon osteotomy and enable exposure of the entire humeral diaphysis for fixation. Bilateral fixation is likely to be better at counteracting bending and torsional forces compared with unilateral fixation.