Smokey, a 4-year-old retired racing greyhound, was settling in as the beloved new member of the Arthenayake family, when, for unknown reasons, she jumped through second story window of her new home. Smokey’s family rushed her to their veterinarian, Dr. Roberta Porter (Class of 2008) at Alpine Animal Hospital. Dr. Porter stabilized Smokey, and after diagnosing a wrist fracture, transferred Smokey to the Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery service at Oregon State University. The OSU Orthopedic Surgery Service serves to diagnose, treat and teach about injuries and developmental disorders of the musculoskeletal system in dogs and cats. Some of the special services offered by OSU Orthopedics include fracture repair, stabilization of joint, tendon and ligament injury, minimally invasive surgery, arthroscopy, correction of limb deformity, disk surgery, and total elbow and hip joint replacement.
Using computed tomography (CT), Dr. Jennifer Warnock, a small animal orthopedic surgeon, determined that the wrist joint had sustained a major complex fracture. “The CT scan was pivotal in determining the course of treatment for Smokey,” said Dr. Warnock. “We had originally hoped to arthroscopically remove bone chips out of the joint; with CT we found that a wrist joint fusion (pancarpal arthrodesis) was necessary instead.” Smokey’s injury also provided a special fracture fixation challenge: “the fracture was severe, and therefore we needed a rigid, durable fixation technique. Usually this means an internal plate with a cast. However, Greyhounds have thin skin that does not tolerate casting well. Use of the novel CastLess Plate1 was the perfect choice for Smokey.”
Following surgery Smokey required intensive daily bandage changes with Dr. Warnock and the OSU Orthopedics service for two weeks. In addition, the Arthenayake family had to restrict Smokey’s activity for eight weeks. A two-month recheck revealed a happy ending: Smokey’s wrist is healing and she is currently using her limb well, with no discomfort or lameness.
1. Clarke SP., et al. Clinical Evaluation of Pancarpal Arthrodesis Using a CastLess Plate in 11 dogs. Veterinary Surgery, 38:852-60, 2009.