Investigations of the Therapeutig and Prophylactic Effects of Disc Evacuation in Cases of Thoraco-Lumbar Herniated Discs in Dogs

Undersökningar över terapeutisk och profylaktisk effekt av disk-utrymning vid thorako-lumbalt diskbråck hos hund

Abstract

The author describes a method for the fenestration and evacuation of degenerated discs in the thoraco-lumbar region of the dog using a lateral approach. This lateral approach makes it possible to reach the entire area of the nucleus pulposus. With the method described, all of the discs in the region of T9/T10—L5/L6 can be evacuated at the same time. The author presents 88 operated cases which showed light or moderate signs of thoraco-lumbar disc herniation, i.e. dogs which displayed pain and/or varying grades of paresis, but retained the ability to walk on their hind legs. The author compares the results of this surgical treatment with the results of the conservative treatment of 128 cases. No significant difference in respect to the mean recovery time was seen between the 2 groups, but the progression of the attack into paraplegia did not occur in the surgically treated material, while such a progression was seen in 4 cases in the conservative material. The greatest value of the disc evacuation, according to the author's investigations, seems to be its prophylactic effect against recurrence. If all of the radiologically degenerated discs in the affected area are evacuated, it appears that one achieves almost complete prophylaxis for some years.

Sammanfattning

Författaren beskriver en metod för att lateralt ifrån utrymma degenererade disker i thorako-lumbalregionen hos hund. Den laterala approachen gör det möjligt att nå nucleus pulposus i hela dess ut-sträckning. Med den beskrivna metoden kan samtliga disker i området T9/T10–L5/L6 utrymmas i en seans. Författaren redogör för 88 opererade fall, vilka visat lätta eller medelsvåra symptom på thorako-lumbalt diskbråck, dvs hundar som företett smärta och/eller varierande grad av pares, men dock kunnat gå åtminstone något steg på bakbenen. Författaren jämför resultaten vid denna kirurgiska be-handling med resultaten av konservativ behandling av 128 fall. Någon påtaglig skillnad med avseende på tillfriskningstiden föreligger ej mellan de båda materialen. Utveckling av anfallet till paraplegi har ej förekommit i det kirurgiskt behandlade materialet, medan sådan för-sämring förekommit i 4 fall i det konservativa materialet. Diskutrym-ningens största värde tycks enligt författarens undersökningar ligga i dess recidivprofylaktiska effekt. Om samtliga röntgenologiskt dege-nererade disker i det aktuella området utrymmes, förefaller det, som om man skulle uppnå en nästan 100 %-ig recidivprofylax för de nar-maste åren.

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Acknowledgments

The radiographs taken at the Department of Clinical Radiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine have kindly been placed at my disposal for closer study by Professor S.-E. Olsson. Mrs. Inga Lindgren, from the same department has given generously of her time in the taking of the necessary radiographs. Miss Emy Persson and Miss Margit Johansson at the Animal Hospital in Heisingborg, as well as Miss Ann-Marie Hoff and Miss Marianne Sitte at the College of Veterinary Medicine, have given outstanding help in the investigation of the animals.

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Correspondence to Berit Funkquist.

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Funkquist, B. Investigations of the Therapeutig and Prophylactic Effects of Disc Evacuation in Cases of Thoraco-Lumbar Herniated Discs in Dogs. Acta Vet Scand 19, 441–457 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547613

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Keywords

  • spine
  • spinal diseases
  • disc
  • prolapsus disci
  • evacuation of the disc