Diesel is a delightful Cocker Spaniel who had a traumatic start to his life with his happy, proud owners. Within hours of arriving at his new home Diesel, as puppies do, positioned himself excitably behind his owner who inadvertently stepped backwards onto Diesel’s back leg.
Realising that the injury could be serious, as Diesel was not at all happy and could not bear weight on the injured limb, he was taken in to the Clinic to be examined.
X-rays soon revealed the source of the problem:
In this x-ray the fractures are clearly visible, as is the small amount of deviation of the two fracture pieces. This bone is the tibia or shin-bone and the thinner fibula can be seen to the right of the tibia. The fibula is intact.
This is a typical injury following such an accident, and is quite common, and just one of those things: very hard to avoid when an inquisitive, active little puppy arrives in the home.
It was decided to place a pin in the cavity of the tibia to help keep the bone straight whilst the fracture healed. This pin was driven into the marrow cavity through a small incision in the skin at the top of the tibia. However, this would not stop the two fracture pieces from rotating around the pin so additional stabilisation was provided with a simple external fixator.
This involves placing two pins, entering from the side of the tibia, again through small skin incisions,
and then stabilising the pins with a cross-bar.
This x-ray was taken several weeks after surgery and shows all the metalwork happily in situ. The fracture is healing well and the bone is being remodelled in response to the stresses it is undertaking.
The external fixator was removed at approximately 6 weeks post-operative but the pin will remain inside the tibia for the rest of Diesel’s life.
Diesel was the the perfect patient, never complaining and always happy.