Kenji’s story – pelvic fracture
Adorable eight-month-old Cocker Spaniel puppy Kenji came to Fitzpatrick Referrals after he was seriously injured in a road traffic accident.
Referred as an emergency by his local vet, Kenji was seen by our orthopaedic team and placed under the care of Surgical Resident Dr Ivan Kalmukov and Senior Clinician Dr Sarah Girling.
Kenji had a CT scan of his thorax, abdomen, pelvis and hind limbs, as well as radiographs, which showed he had sustained fractures to his caudal sacrum and pelvis, plus sacro-iliac joint displacement. The pelvis is a ‘box-like’ structure consisting of two hemi-pelves. Each hemi-pelvis attaches to the spine via the sacrum at the sacro-iliac junction (joint); for an animal to walk, it is essential this joint remains intact.
Dr Ivan Kalmukov said:
Kenji had bilateral sacroiliac luxation (displacement), which were stabilised with screws placed through the ilium (wing of pelvis) into the sacrum. Fracture of the sacrum disrupts the nerve supply to the tail, meaning poor Kenji could not move it and communicate properly. Sutures were placed between the sacrum and vertebrae of the tail to anchor the tail to the sacrum. The sutures worked as a “sling”, which acts to neutralise the pull of the tail and reduce tension on nerves travelling along the tail. We are hopeful Kenji will soon be wagging his tail again.
Kenji recovered well from his surgery and anaesthesia, and the following day was rolling on his back for tummy tickles from the nurses and auxiliaries caring for him! He was still weak on his back legs, so began having daily physiotherapy with our in-house team.
Physiotherapist Hannah Carmichael said:
Kenji had a proprioceptive deficit and weakness following on from his accident. As part of the physiotherapy treatment, we carried out exercises to increase his awareness of where he was placing his back leg and exercises to encourage use of both his hind limbs to encourage full weight baring. These consisted of sit to stand and three leg standing exercises as well as gentle weight transfers in standing and facilitation techniques.
After few days of physiotherapy, he was able to stand up on his own and we were able to see tentative movement in his happy tail.
After an 11 day stay at the practice, Kenji is now happily continuing his recovery at home. We look forward to seeing him again at his six-week check-up.
Six weeks on from his surgery, Kenji returned to the practice for recheck x-rays. The team were delighted to see that his recovery is going well and that his happy tail wag has returned!