Toby’s torn ligament

toby tplo

Toby belongs to one of our nurses, Steph. He was first seen at Northwest Surgeons due to intermittent lameness in both hind limbs. Examination of Toby was challenging for our orthopaedic specialists as he was very tense and not giving away any clues about the source of his pain! In this situation we become heavily reliant on choosing the correct diagnostic methods to narrow down our options.

At NWS we are fortunate to have both x ray and CT on site to the benefit of our patients. In order to identify the cause of Toby’s lameness he underwent examination under sedation then x rays, followed by a CT scan. The CT scanner works like an x ray machine but creates images in 3D. Toby was given a sedative to allow this lively boy to lie still during the CT scan.

The CT images were uploaded to be analysed by our specialist imagers, who are available for reporting 24/7. The specialist report revealed changes in his hock (equivalent to our ankle) and a partial cruciate rupture in his left hind leg.

Given his Staffie Cross breed, cruciate ruptures are common. In Toby’s case the knee was still stable and so a partial tear was suspected. With a partial tear, conservative care can achieve a reasonable outcome, but with the risk that it may totally rupture, meaning surgery would be indicated.

A few weeks after Toby’s CT scan, much to Steph’s disbelief, he was completely non-weight bearing! His cruciate has totally ruptured. Toby was admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery.

On the day of surgery Toby was examined by one of our interns. Interns are young qualified vets on the first step of the specialist ladder. Once examined he then had a pain killer and sedative as pre-anesthetic medication. Once he was anaesthetised he had a nerve block so that even under anaesthesia he wouldn’t feel any pain.

Once the surgery was complete he had some post operative x-rays taken to ensure that the repair was perfect. Toby was then recovered and put in a nice warm kennel. He was checked hourly overnight by the nurse and vet that cover the night shifts. We use pain scoring to ensure all our patients are as comfortable as possible.

Toby was given the  ok to go home the next day with strict instructions of cage rest and lead exercise only.  Six weeks after surgery Toby has now been given the all clear! Happy days!