Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery Rehabilitation - Canine

April 7, 2018

Patient
Mixed breed canine, MN, 6 year-old

History
Anterior cruciate ligament surgery was performed on the right stifle two weeks prior to digital thermal imaging to evaluate the patient’s progress and response to rehabilitation and laser therapy.

Regional Screen with Digital Thermal Imaging
The patient was acclimated to room temperature, was not handled during acclimation, and remained calm during image capture. Multiple digital thermal images were captured with a Digatherm IR camera.

Interpretation of the Thermal Images
A focal area of hyperthermia was present over the incision site, radiating out from joint. Thermal gradients over surrounding muscles depicted an irregular pattern due to compensation and early healing (Fig. 1).
This is an expected pattern during normal recovery from stifle surgery.
Thermal images of the left rear leg showed an extensive area of hyperthermia over the muscles from the hip region to below the stifle (Figs. 2 & 3).

Value of the Digital Thermal Images
The presence of a significant increase in thermal gradients in the left rear leg indicates compensatory change as a result of weight shifting to the left rear.
This information indicates the need for a modification in the therapeutic rehabilitation plan so the inflammation in the left rear leg is appropriately addressed.

Fig. 1 – The right rear limb two weeks after right anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

Fig. 2 – Left rear leg two weeks after right anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

Fig. 3 – Left rear leg two weeks after right anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

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