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In Dogs With Traumatic Elbow Luxation, Does Treatment Using Closed Reduction and Conservative Management Have a Better Prognosis Than Those Treated With Open Reduction and Surgery?

Barnaby Luke Dean

Published:  28/11/2017    in:  Knowledge Summaries

lab dog

Clinical bottom line:

In the available literature, cases of traumatic elbow luxation managed by closed reduction appear to have a better long-term prognosis  than cases managed by open reduction and surgical stabilisation. That being said, it is important to consider that the poorer outcome in surgically-managed cases could reflect the severity or chronicity of the injury rather than the treatment method itself, or indeed could reflect a combination of the two.

Closed reduction of traumatic canine elbow luxation should be attempted in all cases as soon as possible as this is associated with a better prognosis. Should closed reduction not be possible, or should the elbow remain unstable or reluxate following closed reduction, surgical intervention is indicated. Joint immobilisation is recommended with either a Robert Jones bandage or splinted bandage for two-to-four weeks following treatment.

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