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Clinical tests with the prototype 4.5 mm PC-Fix system were conducted in large animals suffering long bone fractures due to trauma. Initial interfragmentary fixation of the fractures with cortex screws inserted as lag screws was followed by the application of two plates at right angles to each other. The 4.5 mm PC-Fix plates and screws were used in horses and cattle. In newborn animals, the 3.5 mm PC-Fix was used. In most cases some type of external coaptation was applied to reduce the danger of fixation breakdown during the immediate postoperative period.
Of the 24 fractures treated with the PC-Fix, 18 healed which represents a success rate of 75%. Good or excellent results were achieved in cattle where 13 out of 15 (86.6%) fractures healed in a relatively short time. The fractures healed in only 5 of the 9 horses (55.5%). The percentages are similar to, if not somewhat better than those for conventional internal fixation techniques. The reasons for the failures are discussed.
The results of the study revealed that the 4.5 mm prototype, and in selected cases the 3.5 mm PC-Fix systems were viable options for the treatment of long bone fractures in large animals.
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