Objectives—To describe placement of hinged transarticular
external fixation (HTEF) frames and evaluate
their ability to protect the primary repair of unstable
joints while allowing joint mobility in dogs and cats.
Animals—8 cats and 6 dogs.
Procedure—HTEF frames were composed of metal
or epoxy connecting rods and a hinge. Measurements
of range of motion of affected and contralateral joints
and radiographs were made after fixator application
Results—9 animals (4 cats and 5 dogs) had tarsal and
5 (4 cats and 1 dog) had stifle joint injuries. Treatment
duration ranged from 45 to 100 days (median, 57
days). Ranges of motion in affected stifle and tarsal
joints were 57% and 72% of control while HTEF was
in place and 79% and 84% of control after frame
removal. Complications were encountered in 3 cats
and 2 dogs and included breakage of pins and connecting
rods, hinge loosening, and failure at the
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—HTEF in animals
with traumatic joint instability provided adjunctive
joint stabilization during healing and protection of
the primary repair and maintained joint motion during
healing, resulting in early weight bearing of the affected
limb. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:586–591)
Objective—To develop and compare the reliability of
2 methods of scoring pelvic limb gait in dogs recovering
from thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries and to use
this scoring system to determine the rate and level of
functional recovery of dogs with acute thoracolumbar
intervertebral disk herniations.
Animals—46 dogs with spinal cord injuries resulting
from intervertebral disk herniations.
Procedure—Dogs' gaits were videotaped at different
time intervals after injury. In phase 1 of the study, the
stages of recovery of pelvic limb function were identified,
and a numeric scoring system was devised to
reflect that recovery. In phase 2, pelvic limb gait was
scored by different observers, using a numeric and a
visual analog scale. Intra- and interobserver coefficients
of variability of both methods were compared.
In phase 3, pelvic limb function was scored, using the
numeric scale at various intervals after acute thoracolumbar
Results—The numeric scale was significantly more
reliable than the visual analog scale when both intraand
interobserver coefficients of variability were evaluated.
Dogs that were paraplegic with no deep pain
sensation recovered at different rates during the first
3 months, whereas dogs that were paraplegic with
deep pain sensation typically recovered within 1
month of injury.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Pelvic limb gait of dogs recovering
from thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries can be reliably
quantified, using a numeric scale. This scale will facilitate
the performance of clinical trials aimed at
improving the outcome of acute spinal cord injuries.
(Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1624–1628)