The dog’s carpal (wrist) is a complex joint designed to absorb concussive stresses. Injuries and arthritis commonly affect this joint. Drug-free physiotherapy can play an integral part in treating, rehabilitation and long term management of canine carpal injuries and hyperextension.
Carpusstrains and tears and will be classed as either acute (recent) or chronic (long term). Canine carpal hyperextension is always considered a longer term chronic degenerative disease.
Areas particularly at risk from injury and hyperextension include the carpal flexor muscles, superficial digital flexor tendon elongation, strains of the collateral ligaments, abductor pollicus longus tenosynovitis, palmar ligament hyperextension injury, and carpal bone fractures.
Where physiotherapy has been recommended, either as a conservative treatment to manage hyperextension or to provide carpal post-operative care, at SmartPaws we will work with your veterinary to provide the best treatment plans.
This will aid healing as well as treating potential secondary issues such compensatory muscle tension and osteoarthritis.
Common carpal injuries and hyperextension which may be treated with physiotherapy (either conservatively or following surgery) include;
Abductor Pollicus Longus Tenosynovitis
LASER treatment can reduce the negative effects of this painful inflammation of the tendon sheath. Benefits of LASER include pain relief, a reduction of inflammation / swelling and improved joint mobility.
Carpal Bone Fractures
Bone undergoes a similar healing process to soft tissue. After surgery and limb immobilisation, physiotherapy aids pain reduction and prevention of muscle atrophy (wastage).
Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) has been proven to positively influence fracture repairs and reduce pain. Regular sessions of at least twice a day are recommended.
Carpal Flexor Muscles
These superficial muscles flex your dog’s paw during movement. Tight muscles will limit flexion of the forelimb and limit potential to absorb the concussive forces. Application of LASER and manual manipulation will release the muscle tension and normalise stride pattern. Compensatory issues may also affect shoulder muscles.
Ligaments stabilise the joints. They have a limited blood supply and therefore take longer to heal than muscles. Therapeutic Ultrasound is beneficial for the treatment of ligaments as it increases the local blood supply and improves collagen extensibility.
Palmar ligament hyperextension
Following partial or complete arthrodesis (joint fixation) PEMF is used to reduce pain. When inflammation has reduced, manual manipulation is recommended to restore range of movement and muscle tone.
Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon
If the affected limb is immobilised, muscle atrophy or contracture can quickly develop. Therapeutic Ultrasound and manual manipulation can be used to restore range of movement and muscle tone.
Every dog is different, so the actual treatment plan will be tailored to your dog and its particular condition.