Comparison of Two Cold Compression Therapy Protocols After Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy in Dogs

Published: Tierärztliche Praxis Kleintiere. 2017; 45(4):226-233. doi: 10.15654/TPK-170049

Authors: N. von Freeden (1), F. Duerr (2), M. Fehr (1), C. Diekmann (1), C. Mandel (1), O. Harms (1)
(1) Clinic for Small Animal Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation, Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany;
(2) Colorado State University, Department of Clinical Sciences, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Objective: To evaluate two different protocols of cold compression therapy (CCT) for pain management and functional recovery in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).

Materials/Methods: A total of 27 adult dogs (n = 30 stifles; staged bilateral procedures: n = 3) undergoing routine TPLO were randomly allocated to three groups (n = 10/group). Dogs of group I received CCT once before and immediately after surgery. In dogs of group II CCT was performed postoperatively four times at 6-hour intervals. Dogs of the control group did not receive CCT. Circumference of the stifle joint and the following pain-related parameters were measured by a single blinded observer before surgery and 1, 10 and 42 days after surgery: stifle joint range of motion (ROM), subjective degree of lameness, and score of a modified Glasgow Pain Scale (GPS).

Results: Both CCT groups showed significantly greater ROM and lower GPS scores 24 hours after surgery compared to the control group. Ten days after surgery there was a significantly lower degree of lameness in both CCT groups compared to the control group. Fourty-two days after surgery a significantly greater ROM was observed in both CCT groups compared to the control group. Group II also showed a significant improvement in the degree of lameness and GPS. There were no significant differences in any of the parameters between the two CCT groups at any time point.

Discussion/Conclusion: CCT applied preoperatively and immediately postoperatively showed similar short- and long-term beneficial results compared to a previously established protocol of applying CCT four times postoperatively. This protocol may be more suitable for practical use.

Clinical Significance: The reported data can be used to establish the new protocol of CCT in a clinical surrounding and to support postoperative rehabilitation of the canine patient.

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