Long-term outcomes after pantarsal arthrodesis with medial plate fixation without external coaptation in 30 dogs

Anesi S, Clarke S, Gemmill T, Oxley B, Pink J, Smith K, Rutherford S.
Vet Surg. 2019 Nov 26. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13354.

OBJECTIVE: To report long-term outcomes of dogs treated with pantarsal arthrodesis (PTA) with medial plate fixation without external coaptation.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS: Client-owned dogs (n = 30).

METHODS: Medical records of dogs that had undergone a PTA with a medially applied plate without adjunctive rigid external coaptation were reviewed. Data collected included signalment, complications, and assessment of function at last physical examination. Follow-up information was obtained by phone conversations with owners. Complications were classified as minor, major II, major I, and catastrophic.

RESULTS: Thirty-six PTA were performed in 30 dogs. Recorded complications included eight (22.2%) minor complications, 11 (30.6%) major II complications and 11 (30.6%) major I complications. One (2.8%) dog required amputation because of catastrophic complication. Owners provided follow-up for 26 dogs at a median duration of 1215 days (range, 325-3495) after surgery. The outcome was reported as full function in 12 dogs and acceptable function in 14 dogs, with no owners reporting unacceptable function. The owner of the dog in which amputation was required was not contacted. Incorrect contact details prevented owner follow-up in the other three dogs, but all had acceptable function at last veterinary follow up.

CONCLUSION: Dogs treated with PTA by medially applied plate had a high incidence of complications requiring surgical or medical management, although full or acceptable function was achieved in 29 of 30 dogs.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Pantarsal arthrodesis offers a predictably good medium to long-term outcome in spite of a high risk of complications.