OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of arthrotomy alone or in combination with osteotomy of the proximal portion of the tibia on blood delivery to the patellar tendon of dogs.
SAMPLE 24 canine cadavers.
PROCEDURES One hind limb from each cadaver was assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: medial arthrotomy (MA; MA group), lateral arthrotomy (LA; LA group), MA and LA with tibial tuberosity transposition (MALA group), and MA with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO; TPLO group). The contralateral hind limb served as the control sample. Contrast solution (barium [33%], India ink [17%], and saline [0.9% NaCl] solution [50%]) was injected through an 8F catheter inserted in the caudal portion of the abdominal aorta. Limbs were radiographed to allow examination of vascular filling. The patella, patellar tendon, and tibial crest were harvested, radiographed to allow examination of tissue vascular filling, and fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde. Vessels perfused with contrast solution were counted in sections obtained from the proximal, middle, and distal regions of each patellar tendon.
RESULTS Vessel counts did not differ significantly among the 3 tendon regions. Compared with results for the control group, delivery of contrast solution to the patellar tendon was significantly decreased in the MALA and TPLO groups but was not changed in the MA or LA groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that surgical procedures used to treat cranial cruciate injuries (ie, TPLO) and patellar luxation decreased blood delivery to the patellar tendon of canine cadavers, at least acutely.