Femoral neck fractures occur sporadically in young growing dogs of small breeds as a result of fall injuries or other types of trauma. In cats, such fractures can occur without discernible trauma in males that have been castrated early and grown to a large body size with comparatively immature skeletal development. In this type of fracture, the femoral head remains in the acetabulum, while the unsupported, proximal diaphysis is often buried in the contracted gluteal muscles. This makes manual repair of the fracture difficult, and spontaneous healing by conservative management is not expected. In the surgical repair of the fracture, adequate incision is made to expose the hip joint, yet the accuracy of anatomical reduction is often compromised by strong contracture of the gluteal muscles, superior displacement of the proximal epiphysis, instability due to immature head development and viscosity of the joint fluid. Refracture after incomplete repair is one of the challenges orthopedic surgeons face.
In the present study, we developed a new technique, implant and fixator, that successfully reduced gluteal contracture, facilitated manipulation of the fracture and significantly shortened the surgical time. In addition to femoral neck fractures, this new technique was applied to growth plate fractures in the thoracic and pelvic limbs and to pelvic fractures, and favorable outcomes were obtained in all cases.