OBJECTIVE To quantitatively measure the amount of pressure induced at the calcaneus and cranial tibial surface of dogs by use of 2 cast configurations.
ANIMALS 13 client- or student-owned dogs.
PROCEDURES Pressure sensors were placed over the calcaneus and cranial tibial surface. Dogs then were fitted with a fiberglass cast on a pelvic limb extending from the digits to the stifle joint (tall cast). Pressure induced over the calcaneus and proximal edge of the cast at the level of the cranial tibial surface was simultaneously recorded during ambulation. Subsequently, the cast was shortened to end immediately proximal to the calcaneus (short cast), and data acquisition was repeated. Pressure at the level of the calcaneus and cranial tibial surface for both cast configurations was compared by use of paired t tests.
RESULTS The short cast created significantly greater peak pressure at the level of the calcaneus (mean ± SD, 0.2 ± 0.07 MPa), compared with peak pressure created by the tall cast (0.1 ± 0.06 MPa). Mean pressure at the proximal cranial edge of the cast was significantly greater for the short cast (0.2 ± 0.06 MPa) than for the tall cast (0.04 ± 0.03 MPa).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A cast extended to the level of the proximal portion of the tibia caused less pressure at the level of the calcaneus and the proximal cranial edge of the cast. Reducing the amount of pressure at these locations may minimize the potential for pressure sores and other soft tissue injuries.