It is always extremely satisfying when a difficult case goes
well. It is even more satisfying after another veterinary
practice has been unsuccessful and has given up.
Max came to me all the way from Derbyshire
after sustaining a serious and debilitating injury to his
Achilles tendon and consequently he was unable to walk or
bear any weight on his leg without it collapsing.
The problem with tendon injuries is that they
are fibrous and poorly vascularised (poor blood supply).
Consequently, healing is slow and takes a long time before
the damaged fibres can regain their strength.
The surgical trick in this instance is to
use a metal screw to straighten the hock or ankle joint
to alleviate any stress on the damaged fibres. By giving
"mother nature" the time and opportunity to heal
without stress the fibres can repair to a functional level.
Without the screw, the tension on the fibres is too great
and they stretch causing the limb to malfuncton.
Whilst the logic may appear quite straight
forward the opportunity for post operative complications
can be high. Screw bending, breakage or "pull out"
are often reported. Fortunately, in this instance after
approximately 12 weeks Max had his screw removed without
experiencing any problems and has returned to chasing around
the garden using all 4 legs.