Surgical repair for luxation of the superficial digital flexor tendon using a temporary restraining pin

Authors: 
A Jury
J Small Anim Pract. 2020 Dec 21. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13288.

Objectives: (1) To report the clinical features of luxation of the superficial digital flexor tendon in dogs and (2) to report the outcome and complications of a novel surgical technique where postoperative immobilisation was not used.

Materials and methods: Medical records from one Swedish veterinary hospital were retrospectively reviewed for cases of superficial digital flexor tendon treated by the author, between July 2007 and August 2019, where a temporary restraining pin was used as part of the surgical repair.

Results: Twenty-three procedures were performed in 19 dogs. Fourteen of the dogs were Shetland Sheepdogs with five other breeds represented. Lateral luxation occurred in all but one case. Minor complications occurred in eight cases (35%). Major complications requiring unplanned surgery occurred in three cases (13%). All cases ultimately returned to their pre-injury level of activity.

Clinical significance: The use of a temporary restraining pin is useful in the surgical repair of superficial digital flexor tendon luxation. All cases were successfully treated without using post-operative immobilisation of the tarsal joint. Plain radiography is unreliable in the identification of morphological defects of the calcaneus.