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"Milly" - Springer with Condylar Fracture
Photo:
Milly

"Springer" Spaniels are very aptly named! "Springer" by name and certainly by nature!!

"Milly" a 4 month old puppy was no exception to that rule for it was during one of her typical boisterous outbursts that she suddenly pulled up lame on her left front leg. Concerned at the level of discomfort she was exhibiting "Milly" was presented at the Fairfield Veterinary Centre.

From the radiographs it was clear that she had broken her elbow (condylar fracture). This is a well recognised injury by experienced veterinary surgeons and represents a "design fault" within the "Springer Spaniel" breed. It is assumed that the soft growing bone fails to mature properly along certain fissure lines leaving an area of weakness. Once stressed by the boisterous individual the bone will then fracture along these lines of weak immature bone.

Accurate reduction and compression at the fracture site is imperative to minimise the development of osteoarthritis later in life. This is usually achieved with a stainless steel orthopaedic screw across the fracture line.

Trying to "rest" the patient afterwards is a thankless task but fortunately in such a young patient the potential for repair and reconstruction is remarkable. After only 3 weeks the bone identifies the area of damage and strengthens it leaving it stronger than before!

The healing powers of young animals is astonishing and always makes the surgeon look good and the image of "Milly" still bouncing around makes him feel good too!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

Photo: of x-ray
X-ray showing fracture line.
Photo: of x-ray
X-ray showing stainless steel screw securing bone fragments.
Photo: of x-ray
X-ray with screw removed.

 

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