ARTICULAR and periarticular fractures are common in the dog and cat and, from the point of view of treatment, are often very unforgiving injuries. Failure to deal with these fractures appropriately may result in the development of significant degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) and periarticular fibrosis and adhesions, which, in turn, may lead to permanent loss of joint and limb function. Open reduction and internal fixation is generally indicated, and postoperative care is an extremely important aspect of management. This article reviews the various types of articular and periarticular fractures, and discusses the management and prognosis of the most common of these injuries in dogs and cats (with the exception of distal limb fractures and fractures involving shear injuries). Postoperative care techniques and potential complications are also described.
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