Fractured Tibia in a Cat

By July 10, 2012 Uncategorized

Tulip is a young, female spayed DSH that was picked up by the Oakville Milton Humane Society as a stray cat that had been injured. Upon examination, she was found to have a fractured tibia (shin bone) and multiple small lacerations on her face and body. It was suspected that Tulip had either been hit by a car, or had a fan belt injury, which commonly occurs when a cat climbs up under the hood of a car while it’s parked, then becomes injured by the high speed fan belt once the car is turned on.

In order to fully assess Tulip’s injuries, we took some radiographs of her legs, as well as her chest and abdomen to be sure there was no other damage. Her tibia had been fractured around the midway point.

This is a VD view, with Tulip lying on her back.  Note the fracture mid-way down the right tibia. This is a lateral view with Tulip lying on her side.  Note the fracture, with 2 large, and 1 small fragment.

Surgery was performed in order to repair the fracture.  An epidural was administered pre-operatively.  An epidural is an injection of local anesthetic and/or analgesics (pain medication) into the space that surrounds the spinal cord, in order to provide very targeted pain control.  Although Tulip was under general anesthetic during surgery, and therefore should not feel pain, offering effective pain control both pre- and intra-operatively allows for significantly better pain management in the post-operative period.  It also allows us to use less anesthetic gas and other drugs during surgery, which allows for safer general anesthesia.

During surgery, the fragments of bone are realigned, and a stainless steel plate is placed to hold the fragments together. 

Two large fragments and one small fragment need to be re-aligned, then held in place by a plate and screws to facilitate healing
A bone holder keeps the fragments together and steady while the plate is applied The plate is attached to the bone fragments with specialized screws

Following surgery, Tulip was weight bearing on the fractured leg very quickly (check out the video HERE!)!  She was kept on cage rest for several days, and is now enjoying (restricted!) activity in a foster home while she heals!  We expect Tulip to make a full recovery, and are anxiously awaiting news about her adoption!

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