Jaw fracture repair

Booker is an 8-year-old German shepherd that was kicked in the face by a horse on the family farm.  He was diagnosed with a jaw fracture at the local emergency clinic and was sent to Poulsbo Animal Clinic for repair.  He had an oblique fracture of the left mandible that involved a large butterfly fragment on the ventral surface and extended between the teeth into the mouth.  Bone plates are typically not used on the jaw because the screws can damage healthy tooth roots.  In addition, the repairs do not need to be as strong as long-bone fractures because the jaw does not support their weight like their legs do. 

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The butterfly fragment was pulled into apposition and affixed to the mandible with 4 wire loops called cerclage wires.  In addition, an interdental wiring technique was used in which a wire is woven around the bases of the teeth and tightened.  The protruding ends of the wire are splinted with a denture acrylic.  This splint stayed in place for 8 weeks after which the jaw had healed.  Booker is back to running on the farm, hopefully steering clear of horse feet!

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