Sandy is a very sweet 9 year old Jack Russell Terrier. Out on a walk she got her paw caught in a tree root, once free it appeared very swollen and Sandy couldn’t bear weight.

On presentation to us her right foot was very swollen. Her owner’s consented to a general anaesthetic and radiographs to assess whether there was a fracture.

Radiographs revealed a dislocation of the tarsometatarsal joint suspected to have happened due to the rupture of the plantar ligaments. The tarsometatarsal joint allows the ankle joint to work with the foot in normal motion. Without repair, sandy would never use her leg properly again and would be left severely debilitated.  The first two images within our gallery show the difference in her injured leg (right) compared to her normal leg (left).

Pain relief was administered alongside a supportive Robert Jones dressing and a surgical plan was made. In Sandy’s case surgical repair was the only option but there would be risks associated.  Sandy required a partial-arthrodesis – this is a surgery which fuses the foot bones together with surgical implants in order to decrease the movement in the limb.  This was recommended as there was unfortunately no surgical options in order to save the function of the joint.

Surgery was performed by Martin Hobbs and Rupert Davenport. An epidural was administered in order to assist with pain control throughout surgery.  Once the area was identified the articular cartilage was removed and a bone graft was taken from Sandy’s shoulder.  The surgical implant was positioned and secured with orthopaedic screws.

Post-operative radiographs showed good alignment and positioning of the limb therefore a supportive dressing was applied and Sandy was transferred to our nursing team for her recovery and supportive care.

Sandy recovered well and was discharged home to her owner 2 days after surgery, it was imperative that Sandy was kept strictly cage rested at home.  Sandy was brought back into the Hospital every 3 days for dressing changes until the point of suture removal, at this point only a light primapore was applied but she had to continue with cage rest.

8 weeks after surgery Sandy visited us for radiographs to assess healing, these revealed good progression of healing of the arthrodesis and so now Sandy’s owners were allowed to gradually introduce short lead walks daily. Her exercise was gradually increased weekly until Sandy was back to her usual self.