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Friday, June 5, 2009

X-Ray Week: Knee Problem

This dog came to me because of fluid draining from his knee. Over a few years he had undergone two surgeries for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). I could feel the suture material in the knee, and was concerned that the fluid had been caused by the surgery. Over time the suture had caused inflammation and irritation in the joint, which had begun draining through the skin. To see there was any problem with deterioration of the bone, I took some x-rays.

There are two things that stand out on these x-rays. First, the suture material had broken, likely leading to significant irritation. Second, the suture isn't placed correctly. One of the loops should be placed behind the knee, not to the side. I don't know if the suture migrated, or if the vet who did the surgery didn't do it correctly, but the suture material wasn't doing anything to help the problem and in fact was causing more problems. I recommended that the dog go to a surgical specialist to remove the suture and repeat the surgery a third time, this time properly. I never heard back, so I'm not sure if the owner ever did it.