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  • Author or Editor: Marc A. Wosar x
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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.

Design—Retrospective study.

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 and removal.

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 hinge-epoxy interface.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


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 disk herniations.

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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research