The two bones in the forearm are called the radius and ulna. They act together to share the load between the elbow above and the wrist below. There are several different fracture patterns that can develop in dogs and cats. The most common injury is a transverse break across the width of the bone creating two equal halves. It has been shown that use of splints and casts for these fractures leads to a high rate of problems such as rub sores and bone healing complications. The goal of surgery is to quickly restore skeletal strength and promote early return to fuction. The plates and screws used do not rust or corrode. Internal implants like these are permanent and do not require removal. The benefit of having internal implants is that they are well tolerated by animals and there is nothing to chew at on the outside of the leg. Sometimes temporary external frames are required to span a highly broken section of bone. These frames can be applied closed without having to surgically approach the bone inside. The frames permit walking and getting wet.
Multiple fracture fragments are stabilised using a temporary biplanar external fixation frame