Fracture treatment: failing to plan is planning to fail

Karen L Perry, Samantha Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous options are available for fracture stabilisation and every fracture is unique. In order to achieve optimal results following fracture repair, detailed preoperative planning is essential, allowing a tailored treatment plan to be established for each individual. Failure to plan both the surgical procedure and postoperative care adequately can be anticipated to lead to higher complication rates. This article, as the first in the series, gives an overview of different possible approaches to fracture stabilisation, including the more traditional open reduction and internal fixation as well as more biological approaches. Many factors influence the approach chosen for a given patient and these are discussed here. Once a decision is made regarding the approach to be used, a specific stabilisation method must be chosen and guidance is given regarding the broad categories that may be suitable for specific situations. Following this, planning of the surgical repair must take place and several methods are outlined ranging from use of the direct overlay method to digital templating. Subsequent articles in the series will give more specific detail regarding specific types and locations of fracture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUK-VET Companion animal
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2017


  • small animal
  • fracture
  • diagnosis
  • treatment planning


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