Postoperative management of external fixators in dogs and cats - Veterinary Medicine
Medicine Center
DVM Veterinary Medicine Featuring Information from:


Postoperative management of external fixators in dogs and cats
Despite the widespread use of external skeletal fixation in small-animal practice, little information is available regarding postoperative care. Here are some tips to promote optimal healing, keep patients comfortable, and avoid complications.



1. Lewis DD, Bloomberg MS. External skeletal fixation. Waltham Focus 1994;4(4):9-18.

2. Aron DN, Dewey CW. Application and postoperative management of external skeletal fixators. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1992;22(1):69-98.

3. Harari J, Seguin B, Bebchuk T, et al. Closed repair of tibial and radial fractures with external skeletal fixation. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1996;18(6):651-665.

4. Rovesti GL, Bosio A, Marcellin-Little DJ. Management of 49 antebrachial and crural fractures in dogs using circular external fixators. J Small Anim Pract 2007;48(4):194-200.

5. Piermattei DL, Flo GL, DeCamp CE. Fractures: classification, diagnosis, and treatment. In: Handbook of small animal orthopedics and fracture repair. St. Louis, Mo: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:69-95.

6. Anderson GM, Lewis DD, Radasch RM, et al. Circular external skeletal fixation stabilization of antebrachial and crural fractures in 25 dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2002;39(5):479-498.

7. Lotsikas PJ, Radasch RM. A clinical evaluation of pancarpal arthrodesis in nine dogs using circular external skeletal fixation. Vet Surg 2006;35(5):480-485.

8. Radasch RM, Lewis DD, McDonald DE, et al. Pes varus correction in Dachshunds using a hybrid external fixator. Vet Surg 2008;37(1):71-81.

9. W-Dahl A, Toksvig-Larsen S. Pin site care in external fixation sodium chloride or chlorhexidine solution as a cleansing agent. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 2004;124(8):555-558.

10. Sanchez IR, Nusbaum KE, Swaim SF, et al. Chlorhexidine diacetate and povidone-iodine cytotoxicity to canine embryonic fibroblasts and Staphylococcus aureus. Vet Surg 1988;17(4):182-185.

11. Sanchez IR, Swaim SF, Nusbaum KE, et al. Effects of chlorhexidine diacetate and povidone-iodine on wound healing in dogs. Vet Surg 1988;17(6): 291-295.

12. Lozier S, Pope E, Berg J. Effects of four preparations of 0.05% chlorhexidine diacetate on wound healing in dogs. Vet Surg 1992;21(2):107-112.

13. Chan CK, Saw A, Kwan MK, et al. Diluted povidone-iodine versus saline for dressing metal-skin interfaces in external fixation. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong) 2009;17(1):19-22.

14. Ward P. Care of skeletal pins: a literature review. Nurs Stand 1998;12(39):34-38.

15. Kaysinger KK, Nicholson NC, Ramp WK, et al. Toxic effects of wound irrigation solutions on cultured tibae and osteoblasts. J Orthop Trauma 1995;9(4):303-311.

16. Rabenberg VS, Ingersoll CD, Sandrey MA, et al. The bactericidal and cytotoxic effects of antimicrobial wound cleansers. J Athl Train 2002;37(1):51-54.

17. Patterson MM. Multicenter pin care study. Orthop Nurs 2005;24(5):349-360.

18. Lethaby A, Temple J, Santy J. Pin site care for preventing infections associated with external bone fixators and pins. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;8(4)CD004551.

19. Egger EL, Histand M, Norrdin RW, et al. Canine osteotomy healing when stabilized with decreasingly rigid fixation compared to constantly rigid fixation. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 1993;6(4):182-187.

20. Auger J, Dupuis J, Boudreault F, et al. Comparison of multistage versus one-stage destabilization of a type II external fixator used to stabilize an oblique tibial osteotomy in dogs. Vet Surg 2002;31(1):10-22.


Click here