Tuesday 22nd Jan, 2019
Some conditions have a typical appearance, and the stance of the cat in the image above is typical of Achilles injury: if this were a picture of a Rough Collie we would suspect little else!
On the caudocranial image, the left tarsus has dramatically ‘dropped’ compared to the right, while on the lateral view the tarsus can still be seen to have dropped and it is also noted that the digits are flexed.
This flexion of the digits is a ‘classic’ sign of partial Achilles tendon injury with the gastrocnemius tendon being damaged but the superficial digital flexor tendon which inserts onto the calcaneus before continuing onto the second row of the phalanges being intact.
X-rays showed a small segment of bone to be avulsed from the calcaneus, this being consisted with the gastrocnemius insertion. To treat this, we used a positional screw to hold the tarsus in extension, before reattaching the avulsed segment of bone onto the calcaneus using a locking loop suture.
The screw was left in place for 10 weeks before removal, and the cat made a good recovery.