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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate outcomes of tibial tuberosity avulsion fractures (TTAF) in dogs with implants left in situ past skeletal maturity and to compare clinical outcomes with published outcomes in dogs whose implants were removed 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively.

ANIMALS

47 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES

In this retrospective study, 47 dogs had surgery to correct a TTAF before 10 months of age and had the implants left in situ past skeletal maturity. Of these, 42 were followed for a median of 36 months postoperatively. Short- and long-term complications were recorded and compared with historically published data in which the implants were removed within 6 weeks of surgery.

RESULTS

14% (6/42) of our population experienced minor long-term complications (stiffness and lameness), 6% (3/47) experienced major short-term complications (repair failure), and 14% (6/24) experienced major long-term complications (implant removal). There was no difference in long-term outcomes when compared with results of historical reports in which implants were removed 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. Client satisfaction was high, with 93% (38/41) grading outcomes as excellent and 95% (39/41) stating they would have surgery performed again in retrospect.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Immature dogs with surgically repaired TTAFs have favorable long-term outcomes when the implants were left in situ past skeletal maturity. Dogs with TTAF repairs may not need implant removal unless it becomes clinically necessary. Avoiding a second procedure will decrease patient morbidity, recovery time, and cost.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association