Achilles mechanism laceration in dogs is commonly treated by suture repair and temporary tarsal immobilisation. Acoustoelastography is an ultrasound technique that can relate changes in ultrasonic wave amplitude to a tendon's mechanical properties. This report describes use of this novel technique for monitoring mechanical healing of an Achilles tendon laceration in a dog after suture repair. A three-year-old spayed female Duck Tolling Retriever was diagnosed with complete laceration of the Achilles mechanism after traumatic injury. Suture repair was performed with temporary tarsal immobilisation by use of a custom hinged orthotic splint. Acoustoelastography examination was performed immediately after surgery, 6, 16, 22 and 29 weeks after surgery. Tarsal range of motion was gradually increased after surgery by staged modification of the splint. Serial acoustoelastography examinations demonstrated improving mechanical properties throughout the recovery period. At 29 weeks, mechanical properties of the repaired tendon approximated that of the normal contralateral Achilles mechanism.
- Tendon pathophysiology
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