Fracture of the Radius and Ulna in Cats - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Fracture of the Radius and Ulna in Cats

By: Dr. David Diamond

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
The radius and ulna are the two bones that comprise the forearm. Fractures of these bones are frequently encountered in veterinary medicine. Because of the conformation of the forearm, both bones, the radius and ulna, usually fracture at the same time.

These fractures are usually the result of trauma, but can be caused by disease of the bone itself. These fractures can occur in an immature bone (one that has not finished growing), or in a mature one, can be "open" or "closed" and can be "simple" or "comminuted." They can also involve either the carpus (wrist) or elbow joints.

Depending on the nature of the fracture and the age of the animal, different methods of repair may be indicated for each situation. Radius and ulna fractures can have serious complications if not repaired, or if the repair fails, and can result in developmental abnormalities of the leg if the animal is immature when the injury occurred.

What to Watch For

  • Lameness
  • Abnormally positioned leg
  • Pain or inability to move


    A thorough physical examination is important to determine if fractures are present and to determine if there are other injuries. No laboratory tests are required to make the diagnosis, but your veterinarian may recommend the following:

  • Complete orthopedic examination
  • Radiographs of the affected foot
  • Chest radiographs to determine other injuries


    Emergency care for concurrent problems caused by the trauma is the most important part of treatment. After stabilization, additional treatment may include:

  • Treatment of concurrent soft-tissue injuries

  • Cast or splint. Certain fractures of the forearm can be managed successfully with a cast or splint.

  • Surgery. Some radius and ulna fractures require anesthesia and surgical stabilization of the bone fragments for the best results

  • Pain medication. Injectable analgesics (pain medications) are given to the animal while being treated in the hospital and may be continued orally once discharged from the hospital.

    Home Care and Prevention

    Bring the animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible after any trauma for immediate attention. Try to prevent your pet from walking or moving too much. Prompt veterinary treatment is recommended. Do not attempt to place a splint or bandage on the leg unless there is profuse bleeding.

    After surgical repair of the fracture, the animal must be kept restricted from activity for several weeks and the skin incision should be monitored while healing. A recheck with your veterinarian will occur in several weeks to evaluate how the bones are healing (with new radiographs), to monitor the animal's progress, and to make sure it is safe to increase the animal's activity level.

    Many traumatic events are true accidents and thus unavoidable. Small cats should be limited from jumping from heights. If these cats are allowed on the furniture, ramps or stairs may allow these cats to get up and down without risk of injury. Avoid the chance for motor vehicle trauma by not allowing your cat to roam.

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Cat Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful cat photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Fracture of the Radius and Ulna in Cats

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me