PHOTOS 1-5: A fracture can be defined as a break (complete or incomplete) in the continuity of bone. Fractures may be caused by direct or indirect trauma to the bone, diseases that cause decalcification of bone or by repeated stress. Reduction of fractures refers to the procedure of replacing fractured segments of bone in their original anatomical position via traction and manipulation of fragments (closed reduction) or via direct visual construction of bone (open reduction). Fixation involves the fixing of bone pieces so that they are motionless with respect to each other during healing. Reduction and fixation should take place as soon as possible, given that the patient’s condition permits this. Delay leads to spastic contraction of muscles and inflammatory thickening of the soft tissue, making reduction more difficult.
REFERENCES: PHOTOS 1-5: Piermattei, DL & Flo, GL 1997, ‘Brinker, Piermattei, and Flo’s handbook of small animal orthopedics and fracture repair’, Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 24-146.
Metadata assigned by Dr. M. van Schoor, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Companion Animal Clinical Studies