OBJECTIVE: To investigate four techniques for stabilization of feline patellar fracture.
METHODS: Feline cadaveric stifles with simulated patellar fracture were stabilized with one of four techniques: Group A - circumferential wire, group B - figure-of-eight wire, group C - combined figure-of-eight and circumferential wire, group D - pin and tension band wire. All repairs were subjected to a period of cyclic loading prior to load to failure testing. Experiments were recorded by video capture to determine load at failure and failure mode. Failure was defined as an opening of the fracture gap of 3 mm.
RESULTS: Mean fracture gap opening (±SD) during peak loading after 1000 cycles was: group A with 1.66 mm (± 0.69), group B with 1.01 mm (± 0.45), group C with 0.81 mm (± 0.58), and group D with 0.65 mm (± 0.54). Groups C and D had significantly lower mean fracture gap opening after 1000 cycles when compared to group A (p <0.05). Mean loads (± SD) at failure were: group A with 171.4 N (± 62.2), group B with 208.7 N (± 20.7), group C with 288.2 N (± 62.5), and group D with 219.5 N (± 48.0). Group C had significantly higher mean load to failure than all other groups (p <0.05). There was no difference between other groups. In groups A, B and C the principle mode of failure was wire elongation and tearing of sutures through the retinaculae and periarticular soft tissues. In group D, the principle mode of failure was the pin pulling through the bone of the distal fragment.
CONCLUSIONS: Combined figure-of-eight and circumferential wires may be useful for treatment of transverse feline patellar fracture.