Distraction osteogenesis at the site of neutral wedge ostectomy for angular limb deformity in the hind limb in 2 young dogs

Charlotte B Pfund, Kathleen A Kraska, Sophie N Eiger, Fred S Pike
Can Vet J. 2023 Nov;64(11):1002-1008.

Our objective was to report the use of distraction osteogenesis at the site of angular limb deformity correction using external skeletal fixation for treatment of 1 femoral and 1 tibial angular limb deformity in 2 large-breed puppies.

Medical records were reviewed from 2 dogs (a 7-month-old intact male golden retriever and a 4-month-old intact female German shepherd mixed breed) diagnosed with angular limb deformities and truncation of a pelvic limb. Surgical treatment consisted of neutral wedge ostectomy and distraction osteogenesis at the site of bone deformity with an external skeletal fixator (ESF).

The surgical technique and postoperative period of distraction osteogenesis were reviewed along with postoperative complications and clinical outcomes after complete bone healing was evident radiographically. Both dogs had adequate bone formation during distraction osteogenesis and the ESFs remained intact and structurally stable. At ESF removal, femoral length had increased 2.6 cm for Dog 1 and tibial length increased 3.88 cm for Dog 2, distal femoral valgus improved 16.3 degrees for Dog 1, and tibial procurvatum improved 19.5 degrees and distal tibial valgus improved 6.2 degrees for Dog 2. At the last follow-up examinations, 5 mo (Dog 1) and 3 mo (Dog 2) postoperatively, both dogs were ambulating without any visible lameness. 

Key clinical message: Acute angular correction and subsequent distraction osteogenesis at the site of bone deformity and corrective ostectomy using an ESF enabled successful treatment of femoral (Dog 1) and tibial (Dog 2) truncation and angulation in 2 large-breed puppies. 

Optimal deformity correction and lengthening were achieved through distraction osteogenesis at the site of neutral wedge ostectomy, minimizing soft tissue dissection and risk for potential complications that can occur with bifocal deformity correction (i.e., correction of the deformity at 1 osteotomy/ostectomy and correction of bone length at another, remote osteotomy).