Objective— To evaluate use of a surgical technique commonly used in humans for treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) in dogs.
Design— Prospective case series.
Animals— Dogs with CSM (n=10).
Methods— Dogs weighing >30 kg that had CSM at 1 vertebral articulation were eligible for inclusion. Dogs had vertebral column distraction/fusion performed using a cortical ring allograft, cancellous autograft, and a spinal locking plate. Dogs were evaluated temporally by repeat neurological examinations and by client perception of postsurgical outcome, determined by telephone interview.
Results— Nine dogs survived the immediate postoperative period. Seven of 8 dogs had moderate to complete improvement without recurrence (mean follow-up, 2.48 years). The most common postsurgical complications were screw loosening (n=4) and plate shifting (2), neither of which required surgical revision. One dog had pseudoarthrosis that may have negatively impacted outcome.
Conclusion— Treatment of single level CSM in dogs with ring allograft and a spinal locking plate system may lead to successful outcomes. The major problems encountered with included cost of the implants and adjusting the system designed for humans to fit the vertebral column of a dog.
Clinical Relevance— For dogs with CSM at a single level, the use of a spinal locking plate in combination with a cortical ring allograft can be an effective surgical treatment. Costs of the implants as well as anatomic differences in dogs make this type of surgery less appealing.