Feline talocrural luxation: a cadaveric study of repair using ligament prostheses.
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Currently recommended surgical techniques to treat severe biaxial feline talocrural soft-tissue injuries commonly lead to unsatisfactory outcome. Data relating to canine talocrural stabilisation may not be useful in cats due to major differences in tarsal anatomy between the species. This experimental biomechanical cadaveric study used specimens (n = 10) prepared from the distal pelvic limbs of five adult cats. The aim was to design a technique for treating talocrural luxation using suture prostheses and bone tunnels, and to investigate its suitability for use in clinical cases. Four prosthetic ligaments were placed through a series of five 1.5 mm bone tunnels. Two prostheses, the caudoproximal pair, were taut in talocrural flexion and two prostheses, the craniodistal pair, were taut in extension. The intact specimens had their range-of-motion (ROM) and stability tested, after which they were transected at the talocrural joint (simulated luxation) and repaired using the technique described. The ROM and stability of the repaired specimens were tested and compared to the intact specimens. The repaired specimens had comparable stability to the intact specimens, although the ROM was different (p <0.05) in six of 16 positions (p <0.003125). These corresponded to the positions where the lateral prostheses were taut. The repair technique described may be useful in the treatment of talocrural luxation, as it is low-profile in an area of limited soft-tissue cover, allows anatomic reduction, restores normal talocrural joint stability and near-normal tarsal ROM.