Plates and screws﷯ I would tend to choose a plate and screws to fix most fractures these days whenever they are suitable. These are very commonly used as they provide very strong support to the bone and are hidden deep under the tissues away from the dog or cat's tongue ! Basically it is like having a very strong splint or cast immediately locked to the bone, A metal plate usually made for specific quality stainless steel is shaped to the bone and then anchored to the bone by screws. These screws might also push the fragments together so encouraging faster healing. I prefer them because once they are in place, we don't have to worry as much about the skin and the wound, or removing the plate. With an external fixator, a frame outside the skin, we do have to remove it. In the UK we have always tended to leave plates in place unless they cause a problem, whilst other countries consider it normal practice to remove it once it has done its job. ﷯ On the left is a young cat with a broken femur. Not only does this have the very obvious break midway down, it also has several cracks running down the bone. ﷯ Not only did I choose to put a metal plate on this to repair it, but I used a pin to get the alignment and the length correct so as to avoid handling the fracture site excessively. This makes the repair really strong. ﷯Another example is this broken tibia - shin bone. It has a break that spirals around the bone, ﷯but also has a fragment that is complete separate. The plate has been contoured to the bone and then I have also used some'cerclage' wire to pull the fragment back into the rest of the shaft. Plates come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and are also manufactured so they can be cut down to size. These are especially useful for cats. ﷯ Many cats will recover from something like a broken pelvis without surgery. However, by repairing these fractures we can reduce recovery time from 16-20 weeks down to 6-8 weeks. It also helps prevent them to avoid a pelvic canal that is abnormally narrow.﷯ Technology is advancing incredibly, and with it plate designs are altering all the time. ﷯We now have plates available where the screws lock to both the plate and to the bone so we have a very sturdy repair. The fracture on the left affects only the radius in the foreleg. There are multiple cracks throughout it so assembling the 'jigsaw' was not going to be possible. Rather than disturb the area, we work with the body and avoid disturbing the fracture area. Healing should then be much quicker. I only made cuts through the skin at each end to pull the plate through. ﷯