Numerous closed and open reduction techniques have been described for the treatment and salvage of dogs with hip joint luxation. However, open reduction techniques may be beyond the financial reach of many owners and may be unnecessary if the hip joint can be reduced and reduction maintained without surgical intervention. Consequently, attempted closed reduction with or without some form of external coaptation is the most frequent initial approach to management.1 The most frequently used method of maintaining hip joint reduction following successful initial closed reduction of a craniodorsal luxation is placement of an Ehmer sling. This bandage is purported to internally rotate, flex, and abduct the hip joint while holding the pelvic limb in a non–weight-bearing position.1–3 Traditional Ehmer slings are composed of cast padding to protect the metatarsal region and porous adhesive tape to create the frame encircling the metatarsal region, thigh, and body.3
The success rate of closed reduction in achieving a reduced and functional hip joint has been previously reported as 19 of 36 (52.8%)1; however, to the authors’ knowledge, the success rate of closed reduction in conjunction with a traditional Ehmer sling has not been reported. Complications associated with Ehmer sling application for canine patients have been anecdotally described,4 and the incidence and complications of soft tissue injuries following cast application for fracture stabilization have also been reported.5 However, the equivalent information is not available for Ehmer slings. The purpose of the study reported here was to determine the incidence of reluxation in dogs with craniodorsally luxated hip joints following primary management with closed reduction and Ehmer sling placement and the incidence of soft tissue injury associated with sling use. We also wished to test for associations between potential risk factors for hip reluxation or sling-associated soft tissue injury and outcome for these patients.
No third-party funding was received in connection with this study. The authors declare that there were no conflicts of interest.
The authors thank Drs. Elizabeth Rozanski, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; Adrienne Bentley, Cornell University Veterinary Specialists; Leah Park, Garden State Veterinary Specialists; and Wendy S. Greathouse, College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University for assistance with case recruitment.
Interquartile (25th to 75th percentile) range
Stata, version 13, StataCorp, College Station, Tex.
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