In addition to removing frame elements (i.e. conversion of a Type || or a Type |.b to a Type |-a), carbon fiber composite rods can be substituted for titanium rods as part of the staged disassembly of a small SK fixator. If one considers only Type |-a frames, the following very general guidelines can serve as a starting point:

Fixation System Rod Size/Type Weight/Size
Mini SK 3.2mm stainless steel kittens and small cats, small puppies, miniature breed dogs
Small SK 6.3mm carbon fiber large cats, dogs < 20 lbs.
Small SK 6.3mm titanium dogs > 20 lbs.
Large SK 9.5mm carbon fiber dogs > 50 lbs.

These recommendations are general guidelines only. On radius/ulna fractures, it is often prudent to consider the use of a Type |-b frame when unsure. With tibial fractures, also consider the use of a Type |-b frame or a minimal aggressive strategies will increase the potention need for staged disassembly but will support early weight bearing and function.
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