Immobilizer Removable Articulate in Rehabilitation of Dogs Submitted to Tenorrhaphy Patellar

Larissa Berté, Rafael Festugatto, Rafael Oliveira Chaves, Tamine Krebs, Maria Amélia Weiller, Virgínia Pohl, Márcio Machado Costa, Alexandre Mazzanti


Background: In cases of patellar tendon ruptures, there is a need for primary repair by sutures aiming to restore the extensor mechanism of the knee and prevent degenerative sequelae. Even though the need for temporary immobilization of the joint reconstruction surgeries involving tendons and ligaments, seeks to avoid or minimize the undesirable effects of disuse without any interference at the surgical site. Thus, the objective of this research was to propose a model of joint immobilization adjustable in dogs undergoing patellar tenorrhaphy to allow, in the immediate postoperative period, the achievement of physical therapy modalities without interfering with the healing of the involved structures.

Materials, Methods & Results: The dogs were randomly divided into two groups called fixed immobilization or GF (6 dogs) and adjustable or GA (5 dogs) immobilization. Once on plane and restrained in dorsal decubitus, lateral incision was performed on the right knee in dogs GF and GA for total section of the patellar tendon at its insertion 10 mm at the tibial crest. Immediately, it was made with tenorrhaphy modified Kessler suture pattern using monofilament nylon wire nº 1, followed by a Wolff point involving modified Kessler suture with the same type of wire. In both groups, the joint was immobilized femorotibiopatelar percutaneous external fixation biplanar at an angle of 110° for 30 days. The groups differed by the material used to connect the percutaneous pins, being employed in the GF acrylic resin, and in GA dogs was made adjustable apparatus which consisted of two stainless steel plates with rounded ends with three equally spaced holes 2.5 mm between them in the central part of the plate and the edge of 6mm, which is joined with the other plate by a nut and bolt and allowing to adjust the desired angle of the device. Were utilized four Steinmann pins 2.5 mm, two in the femur and two tibia, introduced perpendicularly to the bone. The assembled apparatus was encased in percutaneous pins and stuck with stainless steel nuts and lock washers causing immobilization of the knee joint, however adjustable in the period of application of physiotherapy protocol. The results demonstrated a reduction in measures in the period of 30 days, indicating that there was muscle atrophy. At 60 days post-operative values demonstrating increased muscle mass gain probably the bearing of the affected limb to the ground. In this study, was possible to observe that the values at 60 days did not return to the same found preoperatively, and the dogs GF and GA were on average 92.19% of the initial values. As for gait analysis, all dogs GF and GA were grade 5, 1 and 3 of lameness in the preoperative period and after 30 and 60 days after surgery, respectively.

Discussion: The joint immobilization in dogs submitted to tenorrhaphy is required, however, the member cannot be used properly, which can lead to sequelae such as muscle atrophy from disuse and especially joint blockage. Currently in human medicine assisted rehabilitation in the immediate post-operative recovery involving the reconstruction of tendons and ligaments, without the need for joint immobilization is required, because patients are instructed to restrict the movements postoperatively. In veterinary medicine, however, it becomes risky this type of conduct, especially the lack of control the movements made by animals, arousing interest in this research to propose joint that could be undone each day to allow implementation of a method of immobilization physiotherapy and at the end of the session, the joint was immobilized again. According to the results, we can conclude that the temporary immobilization with adjustable articulating fixator in dogs submitted to patellar tenorrhaphy allows the use of a physical therapy protocol during the period of immobilization, without interfering with the healing of tendon anastomosis.


patellar ligament; physiotherapy; canine.

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