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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working with a bird that has a broken humerus. Both ends are outside the skin. The break is close to the body. If you have experience or knowledge about such breaks, pining bones, external fixators and the like please write.
 

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Superflyer, since this is a compound fracture, I think it would be wise to get this guy started on some Baytril ASAP, as if this area gets infected it will not bode well for proper healing to take place, once he can be properly administered to. Wash the are with soap and warm water, and continue to make sure it remains clean, cover the area with some KY Gel and cover with a bandage or I think I would also apply some Neosporin to the wound area to help keep it from desiccating too much, if you do not have KY Gel. The wing should be immobilized for now to limit any further damage from flapping, you can use a sock of appropriate size with the end cut off to slip over his body holding both wings in place, confine him to a small hospital cage as well.

I wish I could go further with suggestions, but I have not had to deal with a compound fracture of the wing before. Any chance on getting him into a vet, any pining of bones would have to be done under some sort of anesthesia.

Karyn
 

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Superflyer, the sooner that reduction (the proper alignment of the broken bone) and fixation (broken bone fixed in place and immobilized) the greater the chance for a good outcome for your bird. The bone ends cannot remain outside of the wing very long as they will become de-vitalized and when this happens it will be quite hard for the ends to knit together well, if at all, a vet would be your best bet.

Karyn
 

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Please be careful aligning the bones, expecially with the bones being protuding. If they are not aligned right they could heal at the wrong place and he may be grounded. I highly recommend trying to get him to a vet due to the severity of the break and that alignment will most likely require some sort of anastetic. Also, the metacam is a good idea, it is a pain killer and would be about .1 cc (mL) for a full grown pigeon. Good luck and I wish you both the best.
 

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You're not actually very likely to see a compound fracture of the humerus, seeing as how that particular bone is heavily encased in muscles and such. Possible, just not likely. They more typically shatter and become "comminuted" (three or more pieces). Anyhow, a picture of the bird would help a lot. Generally when there's a protruding piece of bone though, it's not normally going to knit back together without the actual bone being debrided (filed off) unless it's done very soon after the wound occurred. You'd be more likely to see a "non-union" form due to the onset of osteomyelitis (bone infection).

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everybody, I didn't take pictures. This is a large bird. I purchased a dremel. I have sutures and stainless steel needles, strips of wood and epoxy. I'm planing to debride the bone ends and drill small holes in the bones so I can pin them with the needles and I plan to drill a little hole to suture the bone ends together. I have both absorbable and non-absorbable sutures. After the wound is closed and bandaged I plan to epoxy a strip of wood to the pins to stabilize the pins and bone. This is my first time drilling, debriding, suturing and pinning bone. If you have experience ideas or insight please advise. I am a trained rehabber and I will be working with an experienced trained rehabber. The injury is about a week old. The bird is eating well, and he seems comfortable and unstressed.
 

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Superflyer,

Instead of a piece of wood, how about a piece of feather shaft? Assuming you have a strong piece of shaft, from the bird itself if possible).

You could find the right curvature of shaft to match a section of bone.

I visualize a piece of feather shaft inside the hollow bone (if the humerus is hollow, that is) and a piece on the outside.

Feather shaft could be worn down and absorbed by the bird's system as the bone heals, so that the muscles and tendons would have smooth movement.

I have a video clip downloaded from the web from June 2007 (Pigeon wing flight ACL computer model 06-070) which doesn't seem to be on the web anymore. It is 3 megabytes in size. I could email it to you if you email me your email address. (I can't attach it to an email to you within PT, it seems). (Don't want to upload it to Youtube or such, might violate copyright laws). Shows compuer-modelled humerus from several views.

Larry
 

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Try to keep everything sterille when you working on it (iodine externally and saline solution on wounds). I highly recommend use of some avian anaestetic too.
 

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Im not sure about the epoxy. Is there any chance you could purchase some nonporous or porous medical tape? This might make things a bit less messy in the long run and is easily removed with a little mineral oil.
 

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Try to keep everything sterille when you working on it (iodine externally and saline solution on wounds). I highly recommend use of some avian anaestetic too.
Boil all instruments (Exculding electrical of course) and try not to touch them unless you are wearing gloves after they come out. Leave them in for a minimum of 5 min.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
epoxy fixator

Hi they talk about using epoxy outside the body to make external fixators in the Online Avian Medicine book. I hope it works. This is a strong bird and since the break in at the shoulder there will be lots of force on mended bone. and it will be difficult to stop him from wiggling the stump.
 

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You should try to restrain him for at least 10~15 days. Birds are quite inventive how to make your life difficult in these situations. Beware the beak too. Victorian collar may help to keep bandages intact.
 

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Check your email when you get a chance. I brought the book that has the best information about fractures and their different fixation techniques to work and will get some *.pdf's made.

Pidgey
 
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