Orthopaedic surgeon Mark Owen describes an unusual case of an injury sustained on the golf course…


Image of R forelimb (pre-op surgery)

For most of us, falling into a bunker while out on the golf course might result in little more than a red face and at worst cost the price of a round in the nineteenth.


But for Blossom, the tumble came at a much higher price. Fractured wrist bones, with ligaments broken beyond repair meant that salvage by fusion surgery was going to be required to save the day.




Post-op image with Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Device (NPWT)

Surgeries requiring large implants placed in locations where the skin is tight come with the notable possibility of problems associated with swelling and interruption to the blood supply of the soft tissues caused during the surgery, with resultant increased exposure to infection.






3 days post-op with NPWT

One method to help reduce the risk of catastrophic soft tissue harm is to use negative pressure wound therapy. Widely used in surgeries in human medicine, use of ‘vac therapy’ is increasingly gaining popularity in surgery in dogs and cats.


The surgical site is ‘shrink-wrapped’ in foam for a few days following surgery, drawing fluid away through the foam and down the drainage hose, leaving happy, healthy skin on removal with the added benefit of accelerated tissue healing.


Image 6 weeks post op

Six weeks on, X-rays of Blossom’s wrist suggest rapid early fusion of the wrist and so it is off to rehab to get right back on par again.