A walk-through the literature on orthopaedic matters - Veterinary Practice
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A walk-through the literature on orthopaedic matters

Management of cranial
cruciate ligament injuries in
small dogs

Eithne Comerford and others,
University of Liverpool

A number of different surgical
techniques have been described over
recent years for the treatment of
damaged cranial cruciate ligaments in
dogs. The authors investigated the
favoured strategies among members of
the BSAVA and the British Veterinary
Orthopaedic Association towards the
management of these injuries in small
dogs weighing less than 15kg.

Immediate surgical treatment was
chosen by just 15.5% of the
respondents. For the others, the
management strategy would depend on
factors such as the severity of lameness,
age, bodyweight, degree of instability
and the duration of the lameness.
Options for the conservative
management of cases included non-
steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, short
leash walks, weight loss, hydrotherapy,
physiotherapy and cage rest.

When surgical management was
chosen, 71.4% of respondents would
opt to carry out the procedure
themselves rather than referring to
another practice. Extra-capsular
stabilisation would be the first choice
strategy for 63.4% of respondents,
followed by corrective osteotomies
(32.9%) and intra-articular stabilisation

Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and
26 (6): 493-497.

Risk of septic arthritis after
intra-articular medication in
thoroughbred racehorses

Cate Steel and others, University of

Septic arthritis is a recognised
complication of using intra-articular
medication for the treatment of joint
disease in human and veterinary
medicine. The authors investigated the
frequency of such problems in
thoroughbred racehorses and attempted
to identify specific risk factors. From the
records of 16,624 treatments in 1,103
horses they found evidence of septic
arthritis in 13 cases, or once every 1,279
injections, so though rare these incidents
are more common than is reported in
human patients. The use of certain
corticosteroid products was identified as
a risk factor and the frequency of
adverse effects varied between different
practitioners, possibly in relation to their
aseptic techniques.

Australian Veterinary Journal 91 (7): 268-

Epidemiological study of
carpal joint injuries in cats

Bedrich Nakladal and others, Free
University of Berlin, Germany

Carpal joint injuries are a comparatively
rare finding in cats and are generally
attributed to falling from a height, or
“high rise syndrome”. The authors
examined the case records from 73 cats
diagnosed with such injuries over a 12-
year period.

These cases were more
likely to present between April and
October than at other times of the year
and in 72.6% of cases the cat did appear
to have fallen from a tall building. Those
cats falling from a window on the fourth
floor or higher tended to receive injuries
to the antebrachiocarpal joint while cats
falling a shorter distance were more
likely to damage the carpometacarpal

Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and
25 (5): 333-339.

Autologous platelet therapy
for the treatment of
osteoarthritis in dogs

Maria Fahie and others, Western
University of Health Sciences,
Pomona, California

Intra-articular injection of autologous
platelet cells has shown promise in the
treatment of osteoarthritis in human
and canine patients. The benefits appear
to be due to the action of growth
factors released by the cells.

The authors
investigated the effects of a single intra-
articular injection in 20 dogs with
naturally occurring OA affecting a single
joint. There were no significant changes
following a saline injection for dogs in
the control group but in the treatment
group there was a 55% reduction at
week 12 in lameness scores, a 53%
decrease in mean pain scores and a 12%
improvement in the mean vertical force
exerted by the affected limb when

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
243 (9): 1,291-1,297.

Complications of lateral plate
fixation in dogs with plantar
tarsal ligament disruption

Darren Barnes and others, Dick
White Referrals, Newmarket

Subluxation of the proximal intertarsal
joint occurs commonly in certain dog
breeds as a result of a degenerative
process affecting the plantar tarsal
ligament. The authors analysed the
complication rates and outcomes in 61
dogs treated using the lateral plate
fixation technique in comparison with
those treated with a figure-of-eight
tension band wire and either pin or lag
screw fixation for arthrodesis of the
calcaneoquartal joint.

Their findings
showed that lateral plate procedures
were associated with fewer
complications than the pin and tension-
band wire technique. The numbers of
cases requiring further surgery were

17% and 56% respectively in those
Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and
26 (6): 445-452.

Bioengineering technique for
the treatment of
osteochondrosis dissecans in a

Nao Tsuzuki and others, Obihiro
University, Japan

Osteochondritis dissecans is a common
developmental orthopaedic disease in
horses involving focal disturbance of
endochondral ossification. The authors
describe a bioengineering technique for
cartilage repair involving administration
of a sponge impregnated with platelet-
rich plasma, bone morphogenetic
protein-2, mesenchymal stem cells and
gelatin beta-tricalcium phosphate.

was applied to the medial tibial
malleolus in a 13-month-old
thoroughbred filly. After 12 weeks there
was no radiological evidence of the
original defect but the regenerated tissue
was fragile fibrocartilage rather than
wear-resistant hyaline cartilage.

Australian Veterinary Journal 91 (10): 411-

CT imaging of bone in
Labrador puppies with early
stage medial coronoid disease

Seng Fong Lau and others, Utrecht
University, The Netherlands

Medial coronoid disease is a common
developmental condition in young, large-
breed dogs for which the
aetiopathogenesis remains unclear. The
authors used micro-computed
tomography to investigate the changes
occurring in the early stage of the
disease in seven Labrador puppies with
uni- or bilateral medial coronoid disease.

This technique demonstrated that the
mean x-ray attenuation of articular
cartilage was significantly higher in those
puppies with MCD than in healthy
controls, indicating reduced
glycosaminoglycan content. At this
stage, there was no evidence of changes
in the subchondral bone micro-
architecture due to the presence of this
condition in these dogs.

The Veterinary Journal 198 (1): 116-121.

Outcomes of treatments for
different forms of shoulder
instability in dogs

Samuel Franklin and others, University of Missouri

Shoulder instability is a common cause
of forelimb lameness in dogs, and the
condition can be classified as medial,
lateral or multidirectional. The authors
describe a multinational, four-centre
study to identify the incidence of
different forms of the disease and the
outcomes of different treatment

A retrospective analysis of
clinical records over a four-year period
showed that medial instability was more common than the lateral or
multidirectional forms of the condition.
Surgical reconstruction for patients with
medial and multidirectional
instability appears to produce better
results than non-surgical management
and the rate of post-surgical
complications appears to be low.

Veterinary Surgery 42 (4): 361-364.

Severity of clinical signs and
histopathological changes in
intervertebral disc disease

Diana Henke and others, University of Bern, Switzerland

Spinal surgery in dogs with absent
voluntary motor function and
nociception following intervertebral disc
herniation can have highly variable
outcomes. The authors investigated the
correlation between clinical signs and
histopathological changes in 60 dogs
that were euthanased following acute
thoracolumbar intervertebral disc

Clinical neurological grades did
correlate significantly with the extent of
the white matter damage, yet loss of
nociception occurred in six of 31 dogs
with relatively mild histological changes.
Also, the duration of clinical signs,
Schiff-Sherrington posture, loss of
reflexes and pain on spinal palpation
were not associated with the severity of
spinal cord damage.

The Veterinary Journal 198 (1): 70-75.

Arterial thrombosis in a dog
with a humeral fracture
following a road accident

Kristina DePaula and others, Tufts University, Massachusetts

A three-year-old female, mixed breed
dog was admitted with injuries sustained
after being hit by a car, including a
pneumothorax, skin wounds and a
transverse fracture of the right humerus.
Open reduction and internal fixation of
the fracture was performed and the
patient was weight-bearing at discharge.

However, eight days later it was
readmitted with pain and was non-
weight bearing in the affected limb.
Ultrasonography revealed a thrombus in
the right brachial artery. Following
treatment with unfractionated heparin
and clopidogrel the clot was eliminated
and blood flow to the injured limb

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
243 (3): 394-398.

Gait analyses in dogs following
amputation of a thoracic limb

Sarah Jarvis and others, Colorado State University

Most dogs appear to adapt well to the
removal of a thoracic limb although
some patients do have difficulty in
returning to anything approaching
normal locomotor function. The
authors assessed the biomechanical
differences between healthy dogs and
those with a forelimb amputation using spatial kinematic and kinetic analyses.

There were significant biomechanical
changes after amputation in the
vertebral column, carpus, ipsilateral hip
and stifle joints. The gait of a thoracic
limb amputee appeared to be a mixture
of different gait patterns in which the
ipsilateral pelvic limb assumed dual
thoracic and pelvic limb roles.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 74
(9): 1,155-1,163.

Discospondylitis and epidural
empyema due to a
species infection

Plessas and others, Royal Veterinary College, London

Discospondylitis is an inflammatory
condition of the intervertebral disc, the
adjacent endplates and vertebral bodies.
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is the most
common cause in dogs although a
number of other bacterial species have
also been isolated. Salmonella infections
have been described as a cause of the
condition in human patients but there
are no previous reports involving these
bacteria in dogs.

The authors describe a
case involving a seven-year-old intact
male boxer in which the history, clinical
signs and magnetic resonance imaging
suggested discospondylitis and epidural
empyema and Salmonella was identified
on blood culture. Following surgery and
antimicrobial therapy, the patient made a
full recovery.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 54 (6): 595-

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