An avulsion fracture occurs when the patella tendon pulls the front of the tibia off the rest of the bone. By realigning the fractured piece of bone and anchoring it back in place with surgical implants, it allows the bone to heal and provides the best chance of a successful outcome. The surgery involves having metal bone pins and a wire tension band inserted into the knee. The pins and wire help to realign the knee.
To ensure a safe recovery, it is best that your pet is kept inside overnight, somewhere warm and quiet. They may need to be confined to either a crate, or sectioned off to a smaller area of the house (e.g. laundry or bathroom).
You will need to check the surgery site daily and bathe it in a weak salt solution if it is messy or crusty. A small amount of swelling around the wound may be expected. You can relieve this by applying light pressure to the area with an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
If the surgery site becomes red or weepy, or your pet is licking at the area and seems uncomfortable, please bring your pet in for a check-up, as these signs may indicate an infection. Lead walking for short distances from the day after the operation is encouraged.
We will need to see your pet back in 10-14 days to check the surgery site and to remove the sutures. Passive flexion and extension of the knee may begin shortly after sutures are removed to encourage a good range of knee motion. Do not bathe your pet or allow them to go swimming until two days after the sutures are removed. Once the sutures are removed, you can slowly begin to increase exercise by gentle lead walking.
For the first four weeks avoid any rough and tumble, retrieving and jumping. By eight to twelve weeks your pet should be walking fairly normally. If they are still lame at twelve weeks, or suddenly favouring a leg at any time, they should revisit us for a check-up.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 9274 1845.