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15 March 2023 Repair of a Comminuted Femur Fracture in a Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) Using a Double Plating Technique
Kristin A. Coleman, Caleb C. Hudson, Joe Flanagan
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This report describes double locking compression plate fixation of a moderately comminuted middiaphyseal right femur fracture in a Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). The animal was restrained for a routine examination, during which the dragon struggled to escape restraint. When returned to the exhibit, the dragon did not use the right pelvic limb to walk. A right-sided, closed, middiaphyseal comminuted (type C3) femur fracture was diagnosed using palpation and radiographs, and the animal was transported to a specialty clinic within a few hours for fracture repair. Two locking compression plates were applied in bridging fashion for fracture repair. Radiographs performed at the 4-month postoperative recheck revealed a healed fracture with significant callus formation and stable implants. The dragon was transitioned from cage rest in a restricted space to his normal large exhibit after healing was confirmed, no lameness was observed, and normal limb use was noted. After almost three years, he is still ambulating normally and without lameness. This is the first report of successful femur fracture stabilization using bone plate fixation in a Komodo dragon.

Kristin A. Coleman, Caleb C. Hudson, and Joe Flanagan "Repair of a Comminuted Femur Fracture in a Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) Using a Double Plating Technique," Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 33(1), 11-17, (15 March 2023).
Published: 15 March 2023

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Double plating
fracture repair
fracture stabilization
Komodo dragon
Varanus komodoensis
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