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A comparison between fixation methods of femoral diaphyseal fractures in cats – a retrospective study




To compare the outcome of three different fixation methods and to determine prognostic factors in cats with diaphyseal femoral fractures.


Retrospective analysis of case records of cats with diaphyseal femoral fractures surgically corrected using external fixators, bone plate or plate-rod construct. Outcome was evaluated by estimating the time to bone healing and by calculating the complication rate.


In total, an external fixator was used in 30 cases, a bone plate in 20 cases and a plate-rod construct in 56 cases. All methods were successful in achieving bone healing without significant differences. There was a significant difference between the categorized complication rates between the treatment groups. The external fixation group had the most complications overall. When only the major and catastrophic complications were taken into account, it had the fewest complications. The plate-rod construct had the fewest complications overall, with most being major complications. The bone plate group had a complication rate between that of the external fixation and plate-rod construct groups. It had the most catastrophic complications in relative terms.

Clinical Significance

There was no statistically significant difference in the time to achieve bone healing but there was a significant difference in categorized complication rates between the groups.