The use of transarticular external skeletal fixation in the management of failed tibial tuberosity transposition in five dogs.

Higgins B, Coughlan A, Pettitt R, Macdonald N, Innes J, Owen M, Comerford E.

The management of tibial tuberosity fracture-avulsion after tibial tuberosity transposition can be challenging. Implants must be able to resist the strong distractive force of the quadriceps mechanism, yet implant size is limited by the amount of tuberosity bone stock available. Revision fixation is compromised further by fragmentation of the tubercle. Five stifle joints had temporary transarticular external skeletal fixators applied to manage complications of tibial tuberosity transposition. Fracture reduction was confirmed in four out of five tibial tuberosity fractures. Frames were in place for a mean of 44 days. Frame associated complications occurred in four out of five limbs, the most common being pin tract discharge and associated osteolucency. All frame-associated complications resolved. Long-term follow-up information was available for three of the five animals at 13 to 18 months after frame removal. All three owners reported occasional lameness, but this was attributed to concurrent orthopaedic disease. Transarticular external skeleton fixation protects internal fixation techniques, and good limb function was achieved in most cases. Transarticular external skeleton fixation can be successfully used to augment repair of tibial tuberosity fracture after tibial tuberosity transposition.