Case: Elbow luxations
9th March 2014
Tigger, a spaniel, presented with a luxated (dislocated) left elbow and he had also had a luxated left hip reduced by his own vets. These injuries were sustained in a road accident. The elbow remained unstable and so it was temporarily held in position with an external fixator.
Red, a young farm collie, presented with a luxated left elbow. We were unable to reduce (replace) the luxation without making a surgical approach. Once the elbow luxation was reduced, was kept in position with an external fixator which temporarily bridged the joint. This was removed a few weeks later once fibrous tissue had had a chance to form and organise around the joint to maintain stability in the longer term. Some degenerative joint disease is inevitable after a joint injury of this kind and some reduced range of motion is expected. But the prognosis for the joint and limb remaining functional in this working dog is pretty good.
Another collie presented with an elbow luxation which we were able to reduce closed (ie without opening the elbow surgically). We dressed the leg in extension and placed a moulded splint down the cranial (front) side of the forelimb to hold the limb in extension for a few weeks while the soft tissues around the joint recovered.