What is a Patella tendon tear repair?
A patella tendon tear is disruption of the tendon between the patella (kneecap) and top of the tibia where the patella tendon attaches. Disruption of this tendon leads to inability to bear weight properly as there is no/reduced ability of the body to pull on the tibia to keep the hind leg straight.
How do they occur?
The patella tendon is a very large/strong structure so trauma to this structure is unusual and often secondary to penetration from a foreign object. The case in this article was secondary to a pig tusk tearing the patella tendon and causing trauma to the groove in the end of the femur as well.
Repair of the patella tendon is easily achieved by removing any uneven edges and suturing the torn pieces together, BUT, tendons heal slowly and sutures alone will not be strong enough to keep the tendon together for long enough for it to heal whilst still allowing the dog to walk on the leg. Using a drill to place bone tunnels horizontally through the distal patella and though the proximal tibia, then placing Arthrex fibre wire through these and tightening this, essentially creates an artificial patella tendon and is strong enough to resist any loading forces when the dog is walking, and allow time for the patella tendon to heal properly.
We perform this procedure for $2 to 2.5k….around 1/3rd of the $6-7k+ that is commonly charged at referral centres
Recovery and aftercare
Tendons take ages to heal, so we advise cage rest for 6 weeks and toilet walks on lead. These cases often do well very quickly and resisting the temptation to starting walking the dog too early is important. Post six weeks, we advise six weeks of increasing length lead walks prior to moving to full off lead.
Meet Dr. Scot Plummer
Since childhood, Dr. Plummer has been passionate about caring for animals, and graduated with Honours in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland. He opened the Brisbane Pet Surgery with the aim of making quality pet care affordable for everyone.About Scot Pricing Philosophy