Soft-tissue injuries associated with cast application for distal limb orthopaedic conditions: A retrospective study of sixty dogs and cats

R. L. Meeson, C. Davidson, G. I. Arthurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Casts applied for orthopaedic conditions can result in soft-tissue injuries. The purpose of our study was to describe the nature and prevalence of such complications.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of medical records of dogs and cats that had a cast placed for an orthopaedic condition between October 2003 and May 2009. The data were analysed and categorised.
Results: Of the 60 animals that had a cast
placed, 63% developed a soft-tissue injury
(60% mild, 20% moderate and 20% severe).
Injuries could occur any time during coaptation, and an association with duration of
casting and severity (p = 0.42) was not
shown. Severe injuries took the longest to re
solve (p = 0.003). Sighthounds were significantly more likely to develop a soft-tissue injury (p = 0.04), and cross-breeds were less
likely (p = 0.01). All common calcaneal tendon
reconstructions suffered soft-tissue injuries,
but significance was not shown (p = 0.08). Veterinarians identified the majority of injuries
(80%) rather than the owners. The financial
cost of treating soft-tissue injuries ranged
from four to 121% the cost of the original orthopaedic procedure.
Clinical significance: Soft-tissue injuries
secondary to casting occur frequently, and can
occur at any time during the casting period.
Within our study, sighthounds were more
likely to develop soft tissue injuries, and
should therefore perhaps be considered as a
susceptible group. The only reliable way to
identify an injury is to remove the cast and inspect the limb.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-131
JournalVeterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Volume24
Issue number02
Early online date11 Jan 2011
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2011

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