Diagnostic Procedures and Surgical Treatment of Craniodorsal Coxofemoral Luxation in Calves


Address reprint requests to Dr. Alexander Starke, Clinic for Cattle, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, Hannover D-30173, Germany. E-mail: alexander.starke@tiho-hannover.de.


Objective— To report use of ultrasonographic examination of the coxofemoral joint, a surgical technique for repair of craniodorsal coxofemoral dislocation, and outcome.

Study Design— Clinical case reports.

Animals— Calves (n=4) with coxofemoral luxation.

Methods— Craniodorsal coxofemoral luxation was diagnosed by physical examination, radiographic, and ultrasonographic findings. Open surgical reduction of the femoral head was performed using a modified caudal approach.

Results— Craniodorsal luxation of the femoral head and the presence of an intact femoral neck were confirmed by ultrasonography. All luxations were successfully reduced and reluxation did not occur. At follow-up, 1 heifer had calved and 1 was 5 months pregnant. One calf died of bronchopneumonia 6 days after surgery. One calf had severe coxofemoral degenerative joint disease diagnosed (ultrasonography, radiography, and arthrocentesis) 3 months after surgery and confirmed by necropsy.

Conclusion— Ultrasonography proved to be a simple and effective non-invasive technique for diagnosis of coxofemoral luxation. Immediate surgical intervention in hip dislocation in calves is necessary to avoid unnecessary trauma to subchondral structures. In calves, open instead of closed surgical reduction appears preferable because it allows access to the acetabular cavity for removal of debris.

Clinical Relevance— Ultrasonography should be considered a supplementary but not an alternative to radiographic examination for diagnosis of coxofemoral luxation and for follow-up examinations after reduction.