Just as with soft tissue surgery, Dr. Liz Brucchieri has also performed a large number of orthopedic surgeries from leg amputations or patellar luxations to fracture repairs using plates, pins and external fixators. Tightrope repair done in small dogs and lateral fixations are currently offered for ACL stabilization but more advanced orthopedic repair by TPLO is often a more advantageous choice. Some of the equipment used for TPLOs and other orthopedics can be seen in the image to the left. Issues diagnosed here can be referred to orthopedic specialists in our area as well.
External fixators can look a bit unusual, but can be a fantastic option for pets who have fractures in multiple pieces a.k.a. comminuted fractures. They are also useful if there has been a lot of damage to the surrounding skin where cast or plate application is less useful. Fixators appear invasive but have advantages like minimizing disruption to the tissues that surround a fracture, allowing the bodies natural repair mechanisms to be taken advantage of. Plates that bridge these types of fractures (seen below) are also a good option. Plates and pins have a wide array of uses and are typically slightly higher in cost due in great part to the high cost of plates and screws used in this application as well as the more advanced equipment and time involved with repair. All orthopedic surgeries require owners to commit to activity restriction and wound care during early healing as well as consistent physical therapy to strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments after initial healing has occurred.