Results and complications after removal of tibial tuberosity advancement cage for treatment of surgical site infections: A retrospective study

Vet Surg. 2018 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE: To describe the surgical technique and report the short-term results after removal of tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) cages in dogs with surgical site infections (SSI).

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective clinical study.

ANIMALS: Seventeen client-owned dogs.

METHODS: Medical records of dogs treated for SSI by removal of a TTA cage between November 2012 and May 2015 were reviewed. Information collected included signalment, physical examination findings, affected stifle, cage size, date of SSI onset, time elapsed to implant removal, duration of procedure, culture results, any complications encountered, timing of follow-up recheck, and short-term results.

RESULTS: Seventeen dogs (20 stifles) were included. Clinical signs related to SSI started at a mean of 403 days after TTA, and implants were removed 474 days (mean) after TTA. No intraoperative complications were reported. Postoperative complications occurred in 40% of dogs. Three dogs developed major complications, including a tibial tuberosity fracture. Eighty-five percent of owners reported complete resolution of clinical signs related to the SSI and were satisfied with the outcome.

CONCLUSION: Surgical site infections were short- and long-term complications successfully treated by removal of the TTA cage in the majority of dogs in this study, although complications were common.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Removal of the TTA cage can be considered as an adjunct to treat SSI but has the potential for postoperative complications.