Trauma To The Joint Or Tissue Supporting The Joint
The signs of joint trauma are identical to those of DJD but may occur suddenly after an injury. Severe damage is obvious on x-ray and may require surgical repair. More subtle joint or support tissue damage may not be seen on early x-rays. DJD may develop years after a seemingly minor injury and is treated as described above.
Dislocations (Luxations, Subluxations) And Meniscus Damage
These injuries usually occur as a result of physical trauma such as road traffic accidents or falling from height. Meniscus damage is a common component of cruciate ligament tears in dogs.
A luxation is a dislocation. The joint surfaces of two bones become separated. A subluxation is a partial dislocation. The joint surfaces are only partly separated. Luxations, for example the ball of the femur out of its socket in the hip are readily diagnosed by examination and x-ray. Hip joint luxations are relatively common in injured cats. Subluxations are more difficult to diagnose, even on x-ray. Luxation or subluxation can occurs in the shoulder, elbow, carpal, tarsal, hip or stifle joints. The meniscus is the cartilage cushion in the knee joint. A subluxation of the knee joint, caused by a torn cruciate ligament often is accompanied by meniscus damage. Some dislocated bones can be manually replaced under general anaesthesia if a pet is seen shortly after an injury. Left too long, both retraction of muscles and the formation of a blood clot make manual repair very difficult. A surgical repair is necessary. After either treatment the affected joint is usually immobilised for at least a week.