Case Report: Salter II Femur Fracture

Two adorable four-month old Hound Mixes (brother and sister) stole the heart of a wonderful dog lover.  On the way home, Max (the brother) rolled down the car window on his own and jumped out!  Fortunately his sister was more cautious and stayed in the car.  Luckily for Max his owner was one of a kind.  She brought him to us for surgery the next day and now he is as good as new!

History and Exam

Max, a four-month old, intact male Hound Mix, was referred to the Surgery Division of the Veterinary Referral Center from Aquia-Garrisonville Animal Hospital after jumping from a moving vehicle.

The fall resulted in a distal femur fracture at the growth plate.  This kind of fracture has a classification called a Salter II, which indicates the exact nature of injury to the growth plate (see the x-rays before surgery).  Salter fractures, because they involve open growth plates, are always found in young patients less than one year old.  This particular fracture of the end of the femur is the most common location for the Salter II fracture.


Max was evaluated to be stable and was prepped for surgery.  For this kind of fracture, the surgery entails exploring the knee joint, reducing the fracture and stabilizing with two or three pins.  In Max’s case, we placed three diverging pins to “trap” the end of the femur onto the shaft.  The alignment and stability were excellent and after a night of recovery at the Veterinary Referral Center, Max was discharged to his owner for close restrictions and confinement for the next four weeks.  In addition to the restrictions, the owner also was to perform “range of motion” exercises to keep the knee joint flexible.

Max did very well at home but wanted to do more than we wanted him to do because of his young age and having another young dog in the household.  Follow-up visits at three and six weeks showed good function and excellent bone healing.  The x-rays at six weeks showed good continued bone growth.  (See the x-ray series)

Max was released to full activity two months after the surgery and should make a complete return to normal.

Pre-Operative Radiographs:











Post-Operative Radiographs:















6 Week Post Operative Radiographs:











Max Being a Puppy!