Claw Plate (Berentey Plate): A Novel Solution for Metaphyseal Fractures in Veterinary Surgery
Fracture stabilization with plate requires placing at least two screws in all fracture fragments. Sometimes, mostly with metaphyseal fractures, the fragment is too small for this, but the rigid fixation is a must.
Claw plate is the invention of a Hungarian human orthopaedic surgeon, Prof. Gy. Berentey. The plate was specially constructed for metaphyseal fractures (originally for human lateral malleolar fractures), where the distal fragment was not long enough to hold 2 screws safely. Later the plate has been modified several times, to be able to solve not only malleolar, but a wide range of metaphyseal fractures. The plates developed for human medicine, can also be used in veterinary surgery. The basic plate has 4 holes; one end is rounded and has 5 claws located at this rounded end symmetrically around the last screw hole at the edge of the plate. Mini, midi, maxi claw plates are also available to fit the animal's size.
Claw plate has been used in 18 cases on distal radial metaphysis. 12 of these were corrective osteotomies to solve radius curvus syndrome, the remaining 6 were fractures of the distal radius. 3 lateral malleolar fractures, and 2 ulnar metaphyseal fractures have also been treated by claw plate fixation in our clinic. The bodyweight of the dogs varied between 18-65 kg. In all of the operated cases fracture healing has been achieved. No septic or other complications were recognized in the postoperative period. In 8 cases degenerative joint disease (DJD) was detected in the carpal joint, following operations of radius curvus syndrome. 5 of these have already been present at the time of the corrective osteotomy, because of the long term abnormal load of the carpal joint. In 3 cases the arthrosis has developed following the corrective osteotomy. In all cases the carpal DJD has been successfully treated with NSAID-s, no carpal arthrodesis was necessary.
Claw plate fixation is a very recommendable method to treat metaphyseal fractures in veterinary surgery. The stability of fixation with claw plate exceeds significantly the stability provided by 2 screws or T plates. The application is simple, and the results are good.