When I arrived at Cornerstone Animal Hospital, my radiographs were reviewed. Surgery was an option but because there was no displacement of the bone, a splint was applied instead of surgery. A side splint was used to stabilize my leg, then the splint was checked weekly to be sure it was not creating sores or slipping. After five weeks, radiographs were repeated which showed the fracture was healed. Now, I am considering what my next daredevil trick will be!
Fractured (broken) bones often require surgery. Some fractures are amendable to the use of splints. Generally, these may be considered for any fracture below the elbow or knee. They are effective when there is no major displacement of fractured bone ends. At times, if it is possible to reduce the fracture and align the bone without incising the skin they are used.
Splints have advantages. They allow the patient to avoid a major surgery and can be readily changed if there is a problem. The disadvantage is that they require regular maintenance. They are checked weekly to be certain they are staying in the correct position and not causing pressure or movement sores. Generally, splints are applied to the patient for 4 to 8 weeks, followed by a radiograph to determine healing. As long as healing has occurred, then the splint comes off and the pet is free to resume usual leash walking and other minor restrictions.