Successful return to work after surgical repair of fracture of the medial condyle of the distal femur in two working farm dogs

Successful return to work after surgical repair of fracture of the medial condyle of the distal femur in two working farm dogs
Peer reviewed

Abstract

CASE HISTORY: A 5-year-old male Heading dog (working Collie) and a 2-year-old female Huntaway each presented with non-weight-bearing lameness of a hindlimb after jumping or falling with the leg trapped in a gate or motorbike carrier.
CLINICAL FINDINGS: Pain and swelling were localised to the stifle, and radiographs revealed a fracture of the medial condyle of the distal femur in each case.
DIAGNOSIS: Medial unicondylar, intra-articular fractures of the distal femur.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Open reduction and internal fixation provided an excellent outcome in each case. Open reduction was achieved after elevation of the insertion of the medial collateral ligament from the proximal tibia. Both cases had severe tears to the caudal pole of the medial meniscus, requiring partial meniscectomy. Internal fixation was applied using either divergent K-wires and a biodegradable pin, or a lag-screw technique. The medial collateral ligament was reattached using a 3.5-mm cancellous screw and spiked washer. The therapeutic outcome, i.e. clinical result and return to work, was determined by gait assessment, physical examination, radiography, and an owner’s questionnaire. Both working dogs became sound and successfully returned to full work within 6 months of surgery. One dog was subject to euthanasia due to unrelated disease one year after surgery, but the other dog was working fully at 2 years post-operatively; radiography showed osteoarthrosis (OA) but manipulation revealed near-normal range of motion and no loss of muscling.
KEY WORDS: Working dog, canine, condyle, unicondylar, femoral condylar fractures, intra-articular stifle fracture

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