Injuries involving the central tarsal bone in nonracing dogs: Short-term outcomes and prognostic factors

Armstrong AJ, Bruce M, Adams R, Kulendra E, Pease T, Perry KL.
Vet Surg. 2019 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13187. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE: To describe traumatic injuries involving the central tarsal bone (Tc) in nonracing dogs.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective multicenter study.

ANIMALS: Thirty-two client-owned dogs.

METHODS: Medical records from January 2010 to December 2016 were searched for dogs with Tc injury. Fracture classification, concurrent tarsal fractures, treatment, and perioperative management were tested for association with postoperative complications and short-term outcome. Outcome measures consisted of the latest lameness score reported in the record.

RESULTS: The most common injuries consisted of type V fractures (22) and luxation of the Tc (8). Other injuries included 1 case each of type III and type IV fractures. Twenty-two concurrent fractures involved other tarsal bones. Complications were diagnosed in 18 (62.1%) dogs, consisting of 13 minor, 4 major, and 1 catastrophic complication. Lameness at final follow-up (median 7 weeks) in 28 dogs was scored as 0 of 5 in 14 (50.0%) dogs, 1 of 5 in 7 (25.0%) dogs, 2 of 5 in 4 (14.3%) dogs, 4 of 5 in 1 (3.5%) dogs, and 5 of 5 in 2 (7.1%) dogs. Major complications were associated with the presence of multiple tarsal fractures (risk ratio [RR] 3.94, 95% CI 0.80-19.37, P = .13), specifically when the calcaneus was involved (RR 5.78, 95% CI 1.53-21.88, P = .05).

CONCLUSION: The most common diagnosis in this population of nonracing dogs consisted of type V Tc fractures. Fractures affecting other tarsal bones were common and were associated with a higher risk of major complications, especially those affecting the calcaneus.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Short-term outcomes seem favorable in nonracing dogs with isolated Tc fractures, but dogs with concomitant tarsal fractures are predisposed to major complications.