Authors of section


Mary Sarah Bergh

Executive Editor

Amy Kapatkin

General Editor

Noel Moens

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33-C3 Complete articular multifragmentary fracture


Type C3 fractures are multifragmentary articular fractures.


Radiographs of a 4-month-old male intact Akita with a 33-C3 fracture of the distal femur after jumping out of a moving truck.

Mediolateral and craniocaudal radiographs of a dog with a 33-C3 fracture of the distal femur

The severity of the comminution in the distal femur is difficult to appreciate on the orthogonal radiographs. A CT scan was performed to evaluate the fracture more completely. In these reconstructed images, the magnitude and location of the condylar and supracondylar fractures can be appreciated.

CT scan of a dog with a 33-C3 fracture of the distal femur

General considerations

33-C type fractures are complete articular fractures of the femoral condyles with several degrees of comminution of the supracondylar region. They are uncommon in small animals.

33-C2 and C3 type fractures are secondary to high impact trauma, with associated soft tissue damage.

Prompt surgical intervention is mandatory to reduce damage to the stifle joint. Fixation should be performed as soon as possible to avoid abrasion damage of the articular surface, ligaments, and menisci.

Clinical signs

Clinical signs observed in 33-C fractures are:

  • Pain
  • Crepitus during manipulation of the stifle joint
  • Palpable joint effusion
  • Lameness of the affected limb


Good quality mediolateral and craniocaudal radiographs are essential for fracture evaluation.

Computed tomography and three-dimensional reconstruction are recommended.