Iatrogenic Sciatic Nerve Injury in Eighteen Dogs and Nine Cats (1997–2006)

Authors

  • FRANCK FORTERRE DVM, Diplomate ECVS,

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • ALES TOMEK DVM,

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • ULRICH RYTZ DVM, Diplomate ECVS,

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • LEO BRUNNBERG DVM,

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • ANDRE JAGGY DVM, Diplomate ECVN,

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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  • DAVID SPRENG DVM, Diplomate ECVS

    1. Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery and Neurology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland, and
    2. Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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Address reprint request to Dr. Franck Forterre, DVM, Diplomate ECVS, Department of Surgery, Small Animal Clinic, University of Berne, Länggasse 128, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland. E-mail: frank.forterre@kkh.unibe.ch.

Abstract

Objective— To report clinical features associated with iatrogenic peripheral nerve injury in dogs and cats admitted (1997–2006) to a referral teaching hospital.

Study Design— Retrospective study.

Animals— Dogs (n=18), 9 cats.

Methods— Patients had acute signs of monoparesis attributable to sciatic nerve dysfunction that developed after treatment. Neurologic examination and electrodiagnostic testing were performed. Surgical therapy was used for nerve entrapment and delayed reconstructive surgery used in other cases.

Results— Of 27 nerve injuries, 25 resulted from surgery (18 with treatment of pelvic injuries). Iliosacral luxation repair resulted in tibial (4 cats) and peroneal (3 dogs) nerve dysfunction. Other causes were intramedullary pinning of femoral fractures (3), other orthopedic surgery (cemented hip prosthesis [2] and tibial plateau-leveling osteotomy [1]), and perineal herniorrhaphy [1]. Nerve injury occurred after intramuscular injection (1 cat, 1 dog). Immediate surgical treatment was removal of intramedullary nails, extruded cement, or entrapping suture. Delayed nerve transplantation was performed in 2 dogs. Within 1 year, 13 patients recovered completely, clinical improvement occurred in 7, and there was no improvement in 7. Five of the 7 dogs that did not recover had acetabular or ilium fracture.

Conclusion— Iatrogenic sciatic nerve injury occurred most commonly during treatment of pelvic orthopedic diseases and had a poor prognosis. Clinical variation in sciatic nerve dysfunction in dogs and cats can be explained by species anatomic differences.

Clinical Relevance— Iatrogenic sciatic nerve injury leads to severely debilitating locomotor dysfunction with an uncertain prognosis for full-functional recovery.

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