Angus the terrier

September 25, 2015

24.9.15 Angus Image 1 24.9.15 Angus Image 2Angus is a West Highland White Terrier.

When he was just 5 months old, he injured his leg, damaging a small but important piece of bone just below his stifle or knee joint. Although only a small fragment of bone chipped off, it had important consequences as it was the point of anchorage of the patellar ligament (the one the doctor taps with a hammer to make your knee jerk reflexively). This was repaired with 2 tiny pins but unfortunately, he also damaged the growing tissue below his knee and this lead his bone to grow in a deformed fashion which restricted his ability to extend his stifle.

18 months later, at nearly 2 years old, Angus is a handsome little dog but his deformed bone was affecting his ability to use the leg. When I saw Angus in the consulting room, the muscle wasting in the affected leg was very obvious.

Angus was admitted to the Hospital for Xrays which showed that the angle of the joint surface at his knee was very abnormal which was putting extra strain on the tendons and ligaments around his joint and causing the lameness.

That evening, I met with his owners and discussed our findings. I was very concerned that, as Angus got older, the structures around the joint would fail and his problems would get worse. The surgery to correct the deformity was complex. The only option was to remove a wedge of bone from Angus’s leg to correct the deformity and fix the joint into a new position ( a Closing Wedge Osteotomy). Some complex calculations were required to calculate how much bone needed to be removed. Too small a wedge and he would continue to have problems, too large and the opposite defect would be created which could prove to be even more of a problem.

A special custom made plate was commissioned to anchor the bone in position after the procedure and the operation was scheduled.

On the morning of the surgery, Angus was admitted to the hospital and taken to Theatre first thing. I used an air driven sagittal saw to section his bone and a 13mm wide wedge of bone was cut and removed and the plate was attached to the bone using 6 screws.

Angus stayed with us for 24 hours after the surgery but was discharged the following day.

I saw Angus back for a check on Monday and am delighted to say that he is using the leg very well. Although he will need strict rest for the next few weeks while his bones heal, he is already booked into our Rehabilitation Centre at Birchencliffe to start to build up his previously lost muscle.

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